CHR to probe abuse of 5 farmers tagged NPA rebels

June 7, 2006 at 9:59 am | Posted in News | 2 Comments

By Marlon Ramos

CAMP VICENTE LIM, LAGUNA—The Commission on Human Rights is investigating the arrest and detention of five farmers in Tagaytay City who have been accused of being communist guerrillas.

Two CHR investigators visited the “Tagaytay 5” in their detention cell here yesterday to get their account of their April 28, 2006 arrest.

Aristedes Sarmiento, Axel Alexander Pinpin, Rico Ybañez, Michael Masayes and Riel Custodio were held by intelligence agents of the Cavite police and the Philippine Navy for supposedly plotting to overthrow the government.

May 1 plan

The purported attack, allegedly supported by rightists, would have coincided with Labor Day celebrations on May 1.

The five have been charged with rebellion at the Tagaytay regional trial court.

Nicanor Agustin, CHR investigator, said the probe was prompted by the request of Sarmiento’s family and the group’s friends and supporters.

He said the CHR would furnish the arresting officers with affidavits of the accused and would request them to submit counter-affidavits.

He said it could take a week before the commission issues a decision to start a formal inquiry.

The five said they welcome the role of the CHR in the investigation of their case.

“Hopefully, the CHR can help us unmask the abusive characters of our arresting officers and (the) Gestapo-style arrest they did on us. The human rights violations are very glaring in this case,” Pinpin told the Inquirer.


The five earlier claimed they were physically and mentally tortured by their police and military captors.

Lawyers of Sarmiento, Pinpin and Custodio have asked the court to dismiss the rebellion case against their clients and order their immediate release.

Veteran human rights lawyer and former Sen. Wigberto Tañada and lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno filed a motion to dismiss the case at the sala of Judge Edwin Larida, citing no probable cause.

They argued that despite the statement of the arresting officers that a gun and explosive materials were seized from the group, police had failed to issue a receipt that the items were recovered from them.

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  1. PNP and AFP still on their gibberish military antics. Earth calling their brains.

    Visited their place with the rest of the gang. ^_^. They really are doing fine. Hope justice will prevail.

    I’ll link you up to my site.

  2. Sobra na talaga ang mga pangaabuso ng mga PNP at ng AFP. Para lang may maipakitang ‘rebelde’ sa media at upang bigyan ng katwiran ang kanilang mga mapang-abusong polisiya, aksyon at mga ordinansa na sumusupil sa karapatan ng mga mamamayang dapat sana’y pinaglilikungkuran at pinagsisilbihan nila.

    Sana nga ay manaig ang hustisya para sa 5 mga kapwa ko Caviteño.

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