Group asks AFP, PNP to surface Tiamzons' gardener
Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star) - April 15, 2014 - 4:18pm

MANILA, Philippines - Rights group Karapatan on Tuesday urged the police and military to surface the stay-in gardener of communist leaders Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria who were arrested last March 22 in Cebu.

Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said Gary Aguilar Santos has been missing for 22 days now after the Tiamsons' arrest in a rented house in Cebu

Palabay said Rex and Lorraine Villaflor, companions of the Tiamzons when they were arrested in Cebu, alerted Karapatan when there was no news of Santos’ whereabouts after the raid by the Philippine National Police at the rented house of the couple on March 22. 

Santos, 48, was hired as gardener by the Villaflors, the couple who leased the house to the Tiamzons, Palabay said.

Santos was left at the house when Tiamzon, Austria, the Villaflor couple, and three others-- Joesi Napa, Joel Enano and Arlene Panea-- were arrested on March 22.

"Tiamzon, Austria and the Villaflor couple are deeply concerned with Gary's fate.  Santos might be tortured for tactical interrogation, which the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP are notorious for. We demand from the government authorities to surface Santos," Palabay said.

According to Lorraine Villafor, her last communication with Santos was on March 22 at around 4 p.m., a few hours after their arrest.

Palabay said Karapatan-Central Visayas had several attempts to locate Santos but to no avail.

On March 26, Karapatan-Central Visayas inquired at the PNP-San Fernando about the results of their search at the rented house.

Karapatan team also went to the house in Sitio Boloc-boloc, where one of the caretakers reported no one was seen inside the house since March 22.

On April 1, Karapatan-Cebu again inquired at the PNP San Fernando if Santos is in police custody. The police, however, denied they have Santos.
 

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AUSTRIA AND THE VILLAFLOR BENITO TIAMZON AND WILMA AUSTRIA CEBU CRISTINA PALABAY GARY AGUILAR SANTOS KARAPATAN KARAPATAN-CENTRAL VISAYAS PALABAY SAN FERNANDO SANTOS
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