MANILA, Philippines – A National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant on Friday, August 19, said there were “many instances of torture” on political prisoners and “innocent Muslims” during the term of President Benigno Aquino III.
“Yes, maraming torture na nangyari (Many cases of torture happened),” NDF consultant Alan Jazmines said during a press briefing in Quezon City on Friday. Jazmines is one of 15 communist guerrillas granted “conditional release” from jail so they can join the resumption of peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDF in Oslo, Norway.
On Friday, two more NDF consultants – alleged Communist Party of the Philippines chairman Benito Tiamzon and wife Wilma – were released from detention at Camp Crame, just a day before the consultants are set to travel to Europe for the talks.
Jazmines, who was first detained in Camp Crame but later transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa, said that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (US FBI) “had a presence” inside Camp Crame, which is also home to the PNP’s headquarters.
“Sa gitna ng detention center sa Camp Crame, pinapatawag nila for interrogation yung political prisoners. Pag hindi sila nag cooperate, pinapadala nila sa office ng warden, tinotorture. Dinadala sila sa isang condominium malapit doon tapos tinotorture doon,” said Jazmines.
(In the middle of the detention center in Camp Crame, the US FBU call political prisoners for interrogation. If they don’t cooperate, they’re brought to the office of the warden where they’re tortured. Or they’re brought a nearby condominium and they’re tortured there.)
Another place where the detained were “tortured,” said Jazmines, was the basement of the PNP’s intelligence office. “Pinagpapalo doon (They would be hit there),” he said.
Jazmines claimed that “innocent Muslims who held on to their Quran while being tortured” were also brought there.
All these happened during the Aquino administration, said Jazmines.
PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said the NDF should file appropriate cases if indeed they have details and evidence to prove their claim. Carlos insisted the PNP does not tolerate torture.
In Fort Bonifacio, the Army headquarters, another detainee was “shot in the butt.” “Ang dami niyang torture marks (He had a lot of torture marks),” added Jazmines.
Wilma Tiamzon, however, had kinder words for the uniformed men who guarded them.
Tiamzon cited policemen and soldiers whom she met under detention, noting that they lamented the state of their wages and their poor state. – Rappler.com
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