Abducted pastor, a victims voice

Jun. 10, 2007

There is something I must do. I should speak for the victims the disappeared, tortured and killed – and expose how the government treats those who they perceive as enemies.

Vol. VII, No. 18, June 10-16, 2007

Camp Panteleon Garcia, Imus, Cavite (23 km. south of Manila) Pastor Berlin Guerrero recounted his ordeal in the hands of what he calls lawless enforcers when friends and colleagues from the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and different people’s organizations visited him, June 6.

The Arrest

Guerrero was abducted May 27 in Bian, Laguna.

Aboard a tricycle, Guerrero, his wife and children were on their way home when armed men blocked them. One of the men said, upon seeing the pastor, “Positive. Positive. Ito na ‘yon.” (He is the one.)

Another one said, “Inaaresto kita. Mayroon kaming arrest warrant.” (I am arresting you. We have a warrant of arrest.) Guerrero asked for the warrant but the men refused to present it. The man insisted he is Peter Aquino. Guerrero replied, “I don’t know him. Who is he?”

He recalled, “Naisalya ako sa van, pinosasan. Hinampas ng bote ng mineral water. Sinusuntok sa tagiliran.” (I was forcefully pushed inside the van, and handcuffed. They hit me with a bottle of mineral waterthey punched me repeatedly on the side.)

They traveled for about 45 minutes to an hour.


Interrogation followed.

Guerrero continued, “Nilagyan ng plastic ang ulo ko. Sa tuwing may tinatanong, hinihigpitan. Panay suntokGinawang punching bag ang ulo ko.” (They covered my head with a plastic bag. Every time they asked something, they tightened it. They beat me no endThey made my head a punching bag.)

They also kept on beating him with hard but not blunt objects, he said. He said his tormentors’ hands were covered with padding.

He said he was being accused of being a leader of the New People’s Army in Cavite. His abductors kept on asking him about his alleged visit to a guerrilla zone in South Quezon.

He was also asked about the UCCP leadership, about his family members. They also took his computer and installed subversive documents.

Guerrero said his abductors also twisted his nipples until the skin peeled off.

As though the physical torture was not enough, his abductors also employed psychological torture. Guerrero said, “Sabi nila, kukunin nila ang aking asawa at anak na dalaga. Re-rape-in sa harap ko.” (They said they would abduct my wife and daughter and rape them in front of me.)

Guerrero deemed they are capable of doing such crime. He said, “Hindi dapat ganito ang pananalita ng sinuman na nasa law enforcement agency.” (Law enforcers should not talk that way.)

He passed out twice. Before he lost consciousness, Guerrero told to himself, “Ang Panginoon na ang bahala sa akin.” (I entrust myself to the Lord.)

After the interrogation, he was turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) in this camp and was shown warrants of arrest for a 1992 murder case and a 1988 inciting to sedition case.

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