‘Morong 43’ refuses to settle case vs GMA
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - October 10, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Members of the so-called “Morong 43” refused to settle the P15-million civil case they filed against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the group’s lawyer said on Friday.

“Our clients refused settlement. We look forward to presenting our evidence during trial and prove how the rights of the Morong 43 were violated,” said lawyer Ephraim Cortez of the National Union of People’s Lawyers.

In a resolution released in April, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said its investigation showed that some of those arrested had abrasions and contusions in wrists, forearms and head.

The CHR findings corroborated the statement of the “Morong 43,” which was composed of medical workers, that they were blindfolded and handcuffed.

The commission said the rights of the workers were violated when they were arrested in Morong, Rizal on Feb. 6, 2010, based on a warrant issued by a judge from a court in Imus, Cavite.

The CHR recommended the filing of criminal charges for violation of Republic Act 7438 against members of the arresting, detaining and investigating officers involved in the case.

It recommended the filing of torture charges against several personnel of the Philippine Army based in Camp Capinpin in Tanay.

It said the arrest of the group was unlawful as there was no warrant issued against any of them.

“It was Mario Condes who was particularly named in the warrant,” read the resolution.

The civil suit against Arroyo stemmed from a case filed by six members of the “Morong 43” for the supposed illegal arrest and torture they suffered in the hands of the military.

Also named respondents were former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Victor Ibrado, former Army chief Delfin Bangit, former national security adviser Norberto Gonzales, former 2nd Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia, Col. Victorino Zaragoza, Maj. Manuel Tabion, Col. Aurelio Baladad, Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag, and Superintendents Marion Balolong and Allan Nubleza.

Alex Montes, one of those who filed the case, said earlier that while the former President was not directly involved in the torture, Arroyo should be held accountable since she has knowledge of the incident, as the commander-in-chief of the AFP.

The case is pending before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 81.

ACIRC ALEX MONTES ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AURELIO BALADAD CAMP CAPINPIN DELFIN BANGIT EPHRAIM CORTEZ OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLE HUMAN RIGHTS INFANTRY DIVISION JAIME ABAWAG JORGE SEGOVIA
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