2 farmers file torture raps vs AFP
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - March 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two farmers from Compostela Valley filed complaints of torture against the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) before the Commission on Human Rights yesterday.

Janry Mensis, 22, and a certain “Jerry” (not his real name) were accompanied by members of the human rights group Karapatan when they filed their complaints accusing soldiers of torturing them from Nov. 28 to Dec. 6, 2017.

Karapatan said the two farmers were kidnapped by members of the police and military in Tagum City, Davao del Norte on Nov. 28 last year after being falsely accused as thieves.

After the police cleared them, they were turned over to the Army’s 71st Infantry Battalion, whose soldiers allegedly accused them of being New People’s Army members and beat them up.

On Dec. 6, 2017, the farmers said they were brought to a mountainous area in Compostela Valley and were thrown in a pit where the soldiers tried to burn them alive. The victims were able to escape after pretending to be dead.

Karapatan deputy secretary-general Roneo Clamor said the case of these two farmers shows the cruel character of state security forces.

“These stem from the military’s dangerous mindset that they can get away with anything, owing from the climate of impunity in the country,” he said.

Mensis and Jerry are among the 87 alleged victims of torture documented by Karapatan under the Duterte administration, Clamor said.          

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