Members of 'Morong 43' charge Arroyo with torture, robbery

Members of the "Morong 43", a group of health workers arrested in 2010 as suspected rebel trainees, have formally charged Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and ranking military officers with torture and robbery.

Doctors Merry Mia Clamor and Alexis Montes, Gary Liberal, Ma. Teresa Quinawayan, Reynaldo Macabenta, Mercy Castro, Jane Beltran Balleta, and Samson Castillo filed their complaint before the Justice Department on Thursday.

They said Arroyo--then commander-in-chief--"had actual knowledge of the commission of the torture against us, and (is) criminally liable for the said acts under the principle of command responsibility."

Also accused were former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Victor Ibrado, former Army commanding general Delfin Bangit, and unit commanders Major General Jorge Segovia, and Brigadier General Jorge Segovia.

Clamor said the military raided, searched, and arrested them without a court-issued warrant.

"After retrieving our personal belongings, they tied our hands with plastic wires and blindfolded us with cloth reinforced with packing tape. We were not informed why we were being arrested," she said.
They were not read their rights either, she said.

Montes, meanwhile, said he was forced to admit he was a member of the New People's Army. He said he was hit on the chest when he denied this.

"I was forced to say names of activists I knew during my youth so that they would not hurt me," he said, adding that he was also electrocuted and beaten.

Castillo said soldiers threatened to kill him and hurt his children unless he admitted to being an NPA rebel.

"As a result of the torture, we suffered physical injuries in different parts of our bodies. Worst, we suffered intense psychological and emotional pressure, the effect of which is still being felt even today, and require continued medical care before we can overcome the trauma," they said.

They said Arroyo, Ibrado, and Bangit "failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the commission of torture against us or punish the perpetrators thereof."

Aside from being tortured, the complainants also lost personal belongings during the raid. They said mobile phones, a laptop, a digital camera and other valuables worth around P100,000 were confiscated and never returned. "In addition, the LCD Projector owned by the Council for Health and Development was also taken and has not been returned, the value of which is approximately P40,000.00," they said.

Torture carries a penalty of from one month to at least thirty years while failure to inform suspects of their rights and refusing them their right to be assisted by counsel is punishable by a fine of P6,000 and from eight to ten years in prison.

Robbery is punishable with from six months to twenty years.

The “Morong 43” were arrested in February 2010 and were released by President Benigno Aquino III in December 2010.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Next leader must not be newbie’
    ‘Next leader must not be newbie’

    Vice President Jejomar Binay believes the next president of the Philippines must have vast experience and a long track record in governance and in dealing with crises. “I am very much convinced that the local government is the best training ground for those who want to run for national government positions,” he said. Binay said he is determined to run for president in 2016 on the strength of his competence and track record. …

  • Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning
    Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning

    A suspect in the Maguindanao massacre case who had been examined at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) tested negative for poisoning, medical records released yesterday showed. However, the Quezon City court handling the multiple murder case resolved to isolate Police Officer 1 Pia Kamidon from the rest of the accused detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig for his safety. In a two-page order, Regional Trial Court Branch 221 assisting Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada ordered jail officials to …

  • ‘Homework first before Facebook’
    ‘Homework first before Facebook’

    President Aquino elicited laughter from students here as he reminded them to open books first before Facebook. “Finish your assignments first before making a raid in the Clash of Clans,” Aquino said, referring to a popular online game. In a speech during the turnover yesterday of two new three-story buildings at the Tarlac National High School, he said the government could only provide opportunities for learning but the rest of the work would be up to the students. The new school buildings …

  • Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement
    Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement

    President Aquino ended speculations yesterday and confirmed that Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina had indeed resigned as officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police. As of this time, we are conducting various interviews and checks on the various candidates,” Aquino told reporters at the Tarlac National High School in Tarlac City. Aquino had kind words for Espina, saying that he stood by and defended the 44 slain police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in the operation in …

  • Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation
    Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation

    President Aquino welcomed yesterday the Group of Seven industrialized countries’ expression of concern over rising tension in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, calling it a clear indication of the global scope of the problem ramped up by China’s massive reclamation activities in disputed waters. In Tarlac City where he led the turnover of new classrooms, Aquino told reporters that goodwill and not tension must prevail in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, where territorial …

  • DepEd, TESDA tie up for K to 12
    DepEd, TESDA tie up for K to 12

    The Department of Education (DepEd) has partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the first two years of implementation of the K to 12 program. “We will use TESDA centers as technical-vocational laboratories for senior high school,” DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said during the inauguration of 30 new classrooms at the Tarlac National High School yesterday. The classrooms were constructed in partnership with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. …

  • SE Asia Stocks-Philippine falls on foreign selling; others flat to weaker

    BANGKOK, April 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended flat to weaker on Friday as Philippine stocks slid on selling led by foreign funds and Singapore shares extended losses with investors ... …

  • Philippine Airlines parent says back in black
    Philippine Airlines parent says back in black

    Philippine Airlines' parent firm said it had returned to profitability, the first time in three years either entity reported being in the black for an entire year. In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange Thursday, PAL Holdings reported an after-tax net profit of 129.74 million pesos ($2.93 million) in its fiscal year to December 31. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options