Karapatan dared the Philippine Army of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prove before the Court of Appeals that the man they arrested illegally and tortured is indeed who they claim to be in their press releases as CPP’s high ranking official ‘Benjamin Mendoza’ “because clearly, they picked the wrong man,” Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said at today’s hearing at the Court of Appeals for detained Rolly Panesa’s Petition for Habeas Corpus.
“Panesa has been in jail for three months since his abduction on October 5, 2012, yet the government has not presented any document to prove their claim. The man should be immediately released and indemnified,” Palabay said.
Marites Chioco, Panesa’s common-law wife and petitioner to the habeas corpus case, submitted to the court Panesa’s birth certificate, baptismal certificate, school records, records of his employment, Social Security System Identification Card, Philhealth Card, driver’s license, NBI clearance and a certificate that he has gone through a training for the CAFGU.
“These are all government-issued documents and not one government agency has come out to say that these are fake documents. The AFP should admit its error because of arbitrariness on arresting Panesa,” added Palabay.
Panesa is currently detained in Security Intensive Care Area (SICA), Metro Manila District Jail. According to Palabay, Panesa has been in jail for 100 days now for “mistaken identity.” Panesa, a security guard of Megaforce Security, was tortured to force him to admit that he is “Benjamin Mendoza” whom the military alleged as a high-ranking CPP official with a 5.6 million peso bounty.
Panesa was abducted by joint elements of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, led by Southern Luzon Commander Maj. General Alan Luga, and the Philippine National Police.
“This is exactly how Noynoy Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan works—arbitrary, anti-people, anti-human rights.” Palabay said. “Unfortunately, Panesa is one of its many victims,” Palabay added, saying that the Aquino government is “bingeing on arrests of activists, leaders of people’s organizations and anyone on false charges the past months as it attempts to meet Oplan Bayanihan’s self-imposed target by year-end,”concluded Palabay. ###