Political prisoners now more than 400, Daughter of a desaparecido latest victim
Submitted on Tue, 10/09/2012 - 12:00
As of September 30, 2012, Karapatan has documented a total of 401 political prisoners in various detention facilities all over the country. Jimmylisa Badayos, daughter of desaparecido Jimmy Badayos, and Calixto Vistal are among the latest victims of the government’s practice of abduction and illegal detention.
On October 5, Badayos and Vistal, were accosted by members of the AFP Military Intelligence Group of Camp Lapu-Lapu and the PNP-Criminal Intelligence Bureau of Camp Sotero Cabahug in Cebu City. The two were at the gates of the EuroForest Products Industries, Inc. in Mandaue City, Cebu when they were accosted and forced to board a waiting vehicle. They resisted but they were ganged up. Badayos was even physically manhandled by one of the abductors. Her shoulder bag was also taken from her and, she would later find out that the military had planted a gun in it and had shown this to media.
Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said that, “it has been a year, in September 2011, since Malacanang publicly echoed Ferdinand Marcos’ statement that “there are no political prisoners” in the country. Since then, 55 more people were arrested and detained for trumped up criminal charges.”
Badayos ang Vistal were brought to Camp Sotero Cabahug in Gorordo Avenue in Cebu City where they were interrogated. They were denied their rights and detained without any legal basis. Instead, they were accused of being NPA leaders. They were brought in and out their cells for further interrogations and photo sessions which really alarmed them.
Karapatan said that of the 401 political prisoners, 123 were arrested and detained since Noynoy Aquino assumed presidency, “but Noynoy Aquino refuses to acknowledge them as political prisoners to cover up for his eroded pro-human rights façade,” added Palabay.
For Jimmylisa, a member of the Samahan ng mga Anak ng Desaparecidos, the memory of her father’s abduction and detention by police elements under then Supt. Panfilo Lacson reinforces her fear. A day after her father was abducted and detained, Supt. Lacson declared that Jimmy escaped from the same Camp they are now in. Since 1990, under the watch of Pres. Cory Aquino, Jimmy was never surfaced again.
Meanwhile, Calixto Vistal was taken by 30 heavily armed men from his cell at Camp Sotero Cabahug at 2:30 A.M., October 8, allegedly for tactical interrogation but has not been returned to his cell to date.
Karapatan expressed disgust over the recent spate of arrests, detention and killings saying that the “Aquino government is on a rampage and is oblivious to the unabashed impunity by which all these violations are committed.”###