Cainta, Philippines Food Not Bombs Volunteers in jail since February

Consider organizing a protest outside the Embassy of the Philippines in your country. You can tell the media of your protest and deliver a letter to their staff. We are asking all people to write to the minister of Justice and ask for their freedom. Arlene who volunteers with Cainta Food Not Bombs emailed us on August 23, 2006 that they are stepping up their campaign to free her her co-workers. She asks that everyone write the Minister of Justice as soon as you can. These young human rights activists have been held in jail since February 14, 2006. Please send your letter to:

Hon. Secretary RAUL M. GONZALES
D.O.J. Main Building,
Padre Faura Street
Manila NCR 1004
+063 (2) 526 2746; 524 8994; +63(2) 521 1614 (F)

An international campaign for the immediate and unconditional release of the 11 Food Not Bombs volunteers illegally arrested, detained, and tortured in Buguias, Benguet is gaining headway with the creation of the Free the Sagada 11 Solidarity Campaign.

PHILIPPINES: Plot to kill torture victims in jail
Names of victims:
  1. Rundren Berloize Lao (24) of Gerona, Tarlac.
  2. Anderson Alonzo (18) of Calinan, Davao City
  3. Aldoz Christian Manoza (18) of Sampaloc St., Santolan, Pasig City
  4. Ron Pandino (20) of Barangay Mayatba, Siniloan, Laguna
  5. Ray Lester Mendoza (16) of Blk. 157 Lot 32 San Francisco St., Barangay Rizal, Makati City
  6. Jethro Villagracia (21) of Calinan, Davao City
  7. Neil Russel Balajadia (25) of No. 026 Tawiran St., Santolan, Pasig City
  8. Darwin Alagar (21) of Barangay Tipuso, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan
  9. Arvie Nunez (21) of Barangay Silangang Mayao, Lucena City
  10. Jefferson dela Rosa (20) of No. 211 A.M. De Leon St., Santolan, Pasig City
  11. Frencess Ann Bernal (15) of Calumpang, Marikina City

Place of detention: La Trinidad Provincial Jail, Benguet Place and date of their arrest: 14 to 16 February 2006 in Abatan, Buguias, Benguet

I would like to draw your attention to the case of 11 torture victims presently detained in La Trinidad Provincial Jail, Benguet. I have been informed of a disturbing development regarding a plot to murder five of the victims inside the jail where they are being detained. According to the information I have received, one of the torture victims, Rundren Berloize Lao, relayed this plot to his peers who visited him a few weeks back. Lao told his peers that his fellow inmates claimed receiving an offer of a substantial amount of money to kill them but he refused.

I am gravely concerned by this development. Although the report has yet to be investigated, I am deeply concerned that the plot could be serious. I have learned that prior to this, the victims charged several police officers for violation of the Republic Act 7438 before the Benguet Prosecutor's Office on 30 March 2006. Even though it is not clear yet whether this plot is connected to the case they filed, I am gravely concerned that it might be.

Therefore, I urge you to take steps to ensure the protection and security of the victims inside the jail with urgency. They must be afforded with a high level of security and escorts to prevent they possibility of security breaches that might harm them. I also urge you to have the inmate who claimed to have received an offer to murder the victims investigated. An investigation must also be conducted as to who raised the money and who is plotting against the victims. Appropriate charges must then be filed against them.

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all detainees under their custody. Liability rests with the BJMP should any of the victims be harmed. It is also of extreme importance that the BJMP transfers without delay the two minors who are still being detained together with adults.

Additionally, I request an inquiry into the failure of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) head office in Quezon City to take appropriate action to look into the victimsÍ allegations of torture, as requested by their peers following a protest the latter held on 31 March 2006. I am aware that instead of taking a lead in the investigation, as they earlier promised, an investigator of the CHR failed to take action citing budgetary and procedural reasons. Also, the CHR personnel reportedly showed an improper and unprofessional manner in dealing with the complainants who met with them on April 3. If these allegations are found to be true, I demand immediate disciplinary sanctions against the CHR personnel involved.

Finally, please urge the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Baguio City to afford appropriate counseling treatment to the torture victims to ensure their full recovery, in particular the two minors, and ensure that their basic needs are provided for. I am deeply concerned by the DSWD's inadequate intervention towards the victims.

I trust that you will take action in this case.
Yours sincerely,

1. Director Arturo W. Alit
Chief Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)
144 Juco Bldg. Mindanao Avenue
Quezon City
Tel No: +632 9276154 / 927 6383

2. Senior Superintendent Wilfredo L Navarrete
RBJMP-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
2/F., Baguio City Jail, Albano St.,
Baguio City
Tel. No: +63 74 443 5295

3. P/DIR Gen. Arturo Lumibao
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp Crame
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Tel: +63 2726 4361/4366/8763
Fax: +63 2724 8763

4. Ms. Jocelyn Castillo
Regional Director, Commission on Human Rights
Cordillera Administrative Region
3rd floor SSS Baguio Branch Bldg., Harrison Road
2600 Baguio City
Tel: +63 074 619 9088/ 074 619 9089

5. Ms. Purificacion Quisumbing
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
Fax: +63 2 929 0102

6. Ms. Lualhati F. Pablo
Officer in Charge
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
Batasan Pambansa Complex, Constitution Hills
Quezon City
Tel.: +63 2 931 8101 to 07
Tel/Fax: +63 2 931 8138

7. Mr. Raul Gonzalez
Secretary Department of Justice
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
Fax: +63 2 521 1614

8. Professor Manfred Nowak
Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture
Attn: Mr.Safir Syed
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 9230

9. Mr. Jacob Egbert Doek
Committee on the Rights of the Child
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Fax: +41 22 917 9022

Free the Sagada 11 International campaign kicks off for punks tortured by police in Buguias Philippine Hackers Target National Police, Demanding the Release of the Sagada 11!
Mistaken arrests? Free the Sagada 11 Solidarity

Food Not Bombs
P.O. Box 424, Arroyo Seco, NM 87514 USA

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