My father was tortured, says Ka Emongs daughter

Mar. 05, 2009

Davao Today

Ka Emong

Ka Emong

The daughter of the captive New Peoples Army leader Regenaldo Alicaba, Sr. alias Ka Emong said her father could have been tortured during the early part of their ordeal in the hands of the armed men who took them away from their house in Panabo at half past midnight of January 18.

His ears, his knees and feet were swollen, recalled Rizalyn Manguilimotan, 28, when he saw his father for the first time at the Eastern Mindanao Commands headquarters on Camp Panacan.

But she said it happened one and a half day before they reached Camp Panacan. They were forcibly taken out of their house at half past midnight of January 18, blindfolded and taken aboard a van which, after one and a half hours, brought them to a makeshift camp. There, the men placed her and her father in separate corners, with only a ‘trapal’ (canvass) dividing them.

She said she heard the men asking questions. Her father told them he didnt know where the other NPAs could be because he left them on December 24 last year to have a medical check-up in the city. You know they are always moving,” his father said.

She heard two gun shots but felt relieved when the questioning continued. After a while, she heard her father pleading, “Sir, it’s very painful. Please stop.”

“Ay, kanang imong itlog atong kuryentihon bi (Ah, we will electrocute your balls),” the man said.

Manguilimotan said it was only when they were brought to the Eastern Mindanao Commands headquarters on Camp Panacan the following day and their blindfolds removed that she had seen her father and his swollen ears, knees and feet. She asked him if they applied electricity there and he nodded.

She also learned that the men had rubbed a knife into his fathers neck while they were questioning him.

When reporters saw Ka Emong inside Camp Panacan on January 20, he had an inch-long fresh wound on the bridge of his nose.

But the wound, Manguilimotan said, only came from the tightness of the blindfold while they were dragged out of the house two nights earlier.

Articles 13 and 17 of the Geneva Convention ensures that the prisoners of war should be humanely treated, and that no physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion should be inflicted to secure from them information of any kind.

But the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said they dont treat Ka Emong as a prisoner of war. Instead, the CIDG hatched up eight criminal cases against him, five of which were John Doe cases with top ranking NPA leaders among the respondents.

Francisco Villaroman, chief of the intelligence division of the police regional office, presented to the media the eight pending cases against Alicaba, only three of which bore Alicaba’s name.

Alicaba, who admitted he is the commanding officer of the subregional guerilla unit of Front 33, was captured only 12 days after the release of NPA captive soldier Vicente Cammayo, who spent almost a month in the Communist rebels hands.

The cases against Alicaba included two non-bailable murder cases allegedly committed in Mawab in 2003; and in Kapalong, Davao del Norte in 2001; a kidnapping case in 1999, robbery in band in 1995 and 2002, and arson, among others.

Except for the three cases, the five cases were lodged against John Does, and had as named respondents top ranking officials of the Communist New Peoples Army in the region. Villaroman said they are still culling their records for more cases against Alicaba.

Alicaba’s daughter, Manguilimotan was later turned over to family members because she has no pending warrant in court.

Villaroman also defended the Philippine Armys arrest of Alicaba without warrant, saying that soldiers can affect an arrest without presenting documents, if the suspect has been confirmed to have pending arrest warrant in Court. “In affecting the arrest, the soldiers don’t need to present warrant of arrest, but when they will be questioned later on, they can present the warrant,” Villaroman explained. “That’s the reason the police are here with the CIDG to help the Philippine Army because we’re mandated by the court to return the warrant and it was the PA who affected the arrest,” he said.

Brig. General Jose B. Vizcarra, assistant 10th ID commander, also said that raiding team recovered two grenades, a pistol, and improvised explosive device (IED) on Alicaba’s body, something that Alicaba’s wife Ruth said was improbable.

“He was on medical leave, and he had left everything in the “field,” said the wife. She said that Alicaba was blindfolded and handcuffed and did not resist when bonneted armed men took him from their house. She was on medical leave for prostate treatment, she said. “He did not have any firearms with him. We were afraid that he might not be given due process of law, we’re afraid that he will just disappear,” the upset wife said. (Grace Uddin and Germelina Lacorte/

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