December 21, 2009 in Featured
By RODA TAJON
VIGAN CITY — A staff of a non-government organization (NGO) in the Cordillera Administrative Region has been charged with cases filed about 20 years ago in Quezon Province.
Rodolfo Reyes, 42, a Provincial Staff of the Cordillera Disaster Response and Services, an NGO linked with people’s organizations in Cordillera provinces, has been accused of kidnapping with serious illegal detention by combined forces of 503rd Brigade Philippine Army (PA), Philippine Air Force (PAF), Military Intelligence Company (MICO) and Philippine National Police (PNP).
At around midnight of December 17, some 20 men led by Capt. Jean Bustos went to the Reyes’ residence in Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur to serve the Alias Warrant dated November 29, 1988 docketed as Criminal Case No. 22 Kidnapping with Serious Illegal Detention for a certain “Ricardo Reyes A.K.A Bong/Elis/Eking,” signed by Hon. Felix A. Caraos of Municipal Trial Court (MTC) Candelaria, Quezon.
Reyes denied the charges and insisted that he was not the person they were looking for because his name is Rodolfo. The security forces, however, insisted that he was the one they were looking for and even showed a picture of Ricardo Reyes. Reyes said that the picture would not confirm the identity of the accused. After a series of explanations, Sto. Domingo Chief of Police Arsenio Ramos offered Reyes protective custody to avoid further threat on his security and to explain his side on the charges against him.
Reyes and his family decided to accept the offer of Ramos out of fear for their security. He and his family with their Barangay Captain Juanito Tacad arrived at the police station at around 1:30 AM with the combined security forces escorting them.
Ramos assured Reyes and his legal counsel, Atty. Randy Kinaud, that he would be released after lunch should they find no evidence against him. By 10 AM, Reyes underwent medical examination to ensure his family and the court of his physical condition. At around 2 PM, Reyes was released by the police.
Ilocos Human Rights Alliance (IHRA) and Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), human rights organizations in the Ilocos and in CAR expressed their condemnation of the recent attacks by the military and the Arroyo regime against people’s organizations and NGO’s.
According to them, the Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2, the counter insurgency program of the government, should be blamed for persecuting civilian activists and NGO workers.
IHRA and CHRA further said that the AFP is rushing to meet its deadline on the OBL and that the case of Reyes is a clear manifestation of the desperation of the US-Arroyo regime to crush the people’s movement.
Rudy, as his colleagues called him, currently serves as the Provincial Staff for Abra of the Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services (CDRDS), working closely with people’s organizations in Abra such as KASTAN and Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA). # nordis.net