DAVAO CITY – An elderly political detainee was rushed to the Taguig General Hospital in Metro Manila Wednesday morning after a heart attack.
Eduardo Serrano, 62, who is a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front (NDF), has complained of chest pains.
According to human rights group Karapatan, the private physicians of Serrano from the Health Alliance for Human Rights (HAHR) sought his transfer to the Heart Center of the Philippines where he is now confined at the Intensive Care Unit. He is set to undergo angioplasty.
Serrano has been detained for more than 11 years now based on multiple criminal charges meant for a certain Rogelio Villanueva.
Karapatan said he is among the 561 political detainees under the Aquino administration; and 19 NDFP consultants currently detained despite the immunity provided for by the GPH-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).
On November 26, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court-Branch 100 acquitted Serrano of the charges of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder, crimes attributed to “Rogelio Villanueva”. Judge Editha G. Mina-Aguda said the prosecution failed to prove Serrano’s guilt “beyond reasonable doubt.” The court viewed the witnesses’ testimonies as “either imagined or trumped-up.”
In October, the QC RTC Branch 98 Judge Marilou Runes-Tamang also ruled that accused Rogelio Villanueva is not the same person as Eduardo Serrano; and Serrano should therefore be immediately released. The Branch 98’s October resolution said Serrano’s arrest and detention for 11 years is an “outright mockery of the basic human rights on due process of law which is enshrined in our Constitution.”
However, Karapatan said Serrano faces two more similar trumped-up criminal charges of multiple frustrated murder at the QC RTC Branch 215 and kidnapping at Branch 97 which are up for resolution early next year.
“The cases lodged against Serrano are baseless as proven by the Court’s decisions on the two other criminal charges,” the group said in a statement Thursday.
Karapatan believes Serrano should be immediately released “because the cases against him aside from being fabricated and baseless, violate the JASIG.” (davaotoday.com)