ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-047-2016

8 May 2016
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PHILIPPINES : Father and son tortured to admit to convenience store theft in Davao Occidental

ISSUES: Torture
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Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is deeply concerned that a father and son were tortured for allegedly stealing from a convenience store. They were interrogated and beaten up to admit to the crime. The perpetrators were members of the Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (SCAA).

CASE DETAILS: (Based on the documentation by Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP))

On 19 February 2016 at 8 a.m., 52-year-old Orlando Balyan Engo, a.k.a Kaido, was at his house at Malita, Davao Occidental, when his neighbor Ampong Bajenteng and three Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (SCAA) members arrived.

Orlando was informed by Ampong and three SCAA members that he needs to come with them to the village hall for committing a crime. Orlando ’s grandnephew, Ian, was identified by Ampong and three others for stealing from a convenience store. Orlando argued and denied the allegation, because Ian lived far from his place.
As they were walking towards the village hall, they met Jerome, Orlando ’s son. Jerome was asked by the SCAA members to go with them. His hands were tied behind his back using an abaca rope. Upon crossing the river, Jerome was submerged in the water and stomped on twice. Orlando pitied his son because the SCAA members treated him like an animal.

Instead of going to the village hall, a SCAA member went to the detachment. He went on a motorcycle and asked Orlando to ride with him.

At the detachment, he saw Army Corporal Sandy Batolbatol and Ian. Orlando was asked to identify himself. Batolbatol started interrogating Orlando and forced him to admit to the crime. He denied involvement and explained that Ian does not live with them and lives far from his house.

Batolbatol asked Ian who commanded him to steal from the store. Ian pointed at Orlando . Batolbatol took a large hard wooden truncheon and beat Orlando ’s buttocks ten times. His left wrist was also beaten. Batolbatol then commanded Ian to beat Orlando . Ian was asked to hit hard, or else he would also be beaten. Ian obeyed and hit Orlando hard thrice. Orlando almost fainted from pain.

Orlando was then ordered to enter the detachment. The four SCAA members whom he had identified as Jerome, Kaloy, Bantam, and JP alternately punched and kicked him while he was seated. Batolbatol punched him on the chest and forced him to admit to the crime. Batolbatol took a M14 rifle, and pushed and twisted its tip into Orlando ’s upper stomach. Orlando shouted in pain. He called the name of the village chieftain whose house was near the village hall and detachment, but his shouts for help were not heard. Orlando ’s back was on the wall when Batolbatol pushed a truncheon to his neck and pushed him up until his feet were no longer touching the floor. Orlando struggled to breathe. His eyes almost popped out when he choked. He also sustained a cut on his head when he was slammed to the concrete wall.
Outside the detachment, buckets of ice with water were prepared. Orlando, Jerome, and Ian were made to sit on the steps in front of the basketball court. Ice cold water was poured on them. Orlando shivered from the cold. Ice was then placed on their buttocks, crotches, and armpits. They were told that if the ice cubes fell from their armpits, it will be placed inside their mouths. Water was placed inside Orlando ’s shirt which was tucked inside his pants. He was made to bend his head until it reached the water. Batolbatol only released the water when Orlando struggled to breathe.

Orlando was told to sit on a chair and was asked if he will return to the detachment. Orlando said no. Batolbatol told him to go the village hall where village chieftain Inday Alcordo and village Arbiter Toledo were. Toledo instructed Orlando to sign a document saying that he was a thief. Orlando signed the paper for fear that he will again be beaten if he refused.

After the ordeal, Orlando was very weak. He walked very slowly and sometimes almost crawled on his way home. Ian was able to catch him before he fell. Orlando asked Ian why he indicted him.

Orlando ’s neighbor saw him and called for help. Orlando was carried to his house and after an hour, was brought to the District Hospital in Malita for medical check-up. He also went to the police to blotter the incident.

According to Orlando , Jerome was also beaten. One of the SCAA members grabbed his hair, punched, and kicked him thrice.

After the incident, Orlando was not able go to work. His left wrist was aching after it was hit with a truncheon. He said he used to work daily and climbed coconut trees. He was not able to work after his ordeal because he felt constant pain in his stomach where it was pierced with the tip of a M14 rifle.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about the cases. The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

To support this case, please click here

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: Father and son tortured to admit to convenience store theft

Name of torture victims:
1. Orlando Balyan Engo, a.k.a. Kaido, 52 years old
2. Jerome Ejem Engo, 15 years old
3. Ian Bayab Engo, 14 years old

Alleged Perpetrators:
1. Army Corporal Sandy Batolbatol
2. Jerome
3. Kaloy
4. Bantam
5. JP
6. Ampong Bajenteng – Orlando Engo neighbor.
Five members of Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (SCAA)

Date of incident: February 19, 2016; 6A.M

Place of incident: Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (SCAA) Detachment, Barangay Demoloc, Malita, Davao Occidental

I am writing to raise my concern regarding the torture of Orlando and Jerome Engo. On 19 February 2016 at 8 a.m., Orlando Balyan Engo, a.k.a Kaido, 52-years-old, had been informed by Ampong Bajenteng and three Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (SCAA) members that he had committed a crime and was to go to the village hall.

On their way, they met Jerome, Orlando ’s son. Jerome was asked by the SCAA members to go with them. His hands were tied behind his back using an abaca rope. Upon crossing the river, Jerome was submerged in the water and stomped on twice.

Orlando was then taken to the detachment instead of the village hall, where he saw Army Corporal Sandy Batolbatol and Ian. Orlando was asked to identify himself. When Ian was asked who commanded him to steal from the store, he pointed at Orlando . Batolbatol took a large hard wooden truncheon and beat Orlando ’s buttocks ten times. His left wrist was also beaten. Batolbatol then commanded Ian to beat Orlando hard, which he did, three times. Orlando almost fainted from the pain.

Inside the detachment, four SCAA members identified as Jerome, Kaloy, Bantam, and JP alternately punched and kicked Orlando . Batolbatol assaulted Orlando with a M14 rifle. Ice cold water was poured on Orlando, Jerome and Ian, and ice cubes were placed on their buttocks, crotches, and armpits. Water was placed inside Orlando ’s shirt which was tucked inside his pants. He was made to bend his head until it reached the water. Batolbatol only released the water when Orlando struggled to breathe.

Batolbatol then told Orlando to go the village hall where village chieftain Inday Alcordo and village Arbiter Toledo were. Toledo instructed Orlando to sign a document saying that he was a thief. Orlando signed the paper for fear that he will again be beaten if he refused.

Orlando was later taken to the District Hospital in Malita for medical check-up. He also went to the police to blotter the incident.

After the incident, Orlando was not able go to work. His left wrist was aching after it was hit with a truncheon. He said he used to work daily and climbed coconut trees. He was not able to work after his ordeal because he felt constant pain on his stomach where it was pierced with the tip of a M14 rifle.

I urge you to promptly investigate this case, and ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted according to the law. Also, ensure that Orlando ’s family and relatives are given adequate protection in the case of prosecution.

I trust that you will take appropriate action in this case.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Benigno Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

2. Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102

3. Police Director Ricardo Marquez
Chief
Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp General Rafael Crame,
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax +632 7248763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

4. Mr. Emmanuel Caparas
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Telefax: +632 523-9548

5. Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo
Chairperson
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
Email: chairpersonsoffice@gmail.com

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (ua@ahrc.asia)