Ridon: 2 UP students arrested for alleged NPA links tortured
MANILA, Philippines―Kabataan Representative Terry Ridon claimed Monday that the two University of the Philippines (UP) students detained last August for allegedly being New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were tortured by the military.
In a statement, Ridon said that he visited Gerald Salonga and Guiller Cadano in their detention cell in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija Sunday where the two students recounted their plight when they were allegedly tortured by interrogators.
“Gerald himself was subjected to a 13-hour interrogation. His captors warned that they would harm his mother if he does not admit that he’s a member of the New People’s Army,” Ridon said.
“At one point, Gerald said he was brought out of the interrogation room and was made to kneel on the ground to feel the dirt on which he will be buried,” the youth representative added.
Ridon said that he is planning to file charges against the arresting officers of the two students.
“We plan to file charges of torture and serious illegal detention not only against the arresting officers but also against their commanding officers and even the highest ranking military and police officials. Gerald and Guiller’s revelation further aggravates the human rights violations committed by these police and military personnel,” Ridon said.
In reaction, the military maintained that they did not hurt the students during their arrest.
Salonga, 24, and Cadano, 22, were arrested last August 9 in Barangay (village) RT Padilla, Carranglan town, Nueva Ecija because they were allegedly the companions of a certain Ely Taray, who is said to have standing warrants for cases of attempted murder and murder.
Salonga and Cadano were slapped with charges in violation of RA 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunitions Regulation Act) and RA 9516 (Illegal Possession of Explosives) as the arresting team found two 9-mm pistols, bullets, two hand grenades and anti-government documents in their possession.
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