Acquitted of murder, political detainee Serrano dies in prison | Inquirer News

Acquitted of murder, political detainee Serrano dies in prison

/ 02:02 PM January 08, 2016

Political detainee Eduardo Serrano who was acquitted by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QCRTC) in 2015 still died in prison on Friday morning.

Serrano, 62, a consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines died 8:10 a.m. Friday at the Philippine Heart Center after weeks of confinement.

He was rushed to the hospital last Dec. 16 after suffering a heart attack.


READ: Political prisoner Serrano rushed to hospital due to heart attack


Serrano was arrested in 2004 for allegedly leading the ambush of military personnel in 2003 under the name of Rogelio Villanueva.

However, on October 2015, QCRTC Branch 98 acquitted Serrano after the government prosecutors failed to prove the he and Villanueva are one and the same person.

READ: QC court acquits ‘Red-tagged’ man jailed since 2004

“The representatives of the State miserably failed its primary duty to identify the identity of the accused at the cost of horror of Serrano being prosecuted for 11 bygone years,” QCRTC Branch 98 Judge Marilou Runes-Tamang said.

The court said Serrano was illegally arrested, his name was inserted in the Commitment Order, his name was inserted as one of the aliases of accused Villanueva and was charged without the benefit of preliminary investigation.

“How can this court continue to bestow upon the person of Serrano the suffering of varied monikers of Rogelio Villanueva for the crimes that the latter allegedly committed? When in fact, from the records of the case, there was not a single affidavit submitted by the prosecution that Serrano is the same person as Rogelio Villanueva,” the court said adding that even testimonies of witnesses failed to show the link between Serrano and Villanueva.


A month later, the QCRTC Branch 100 acquitted Serrano of another set of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder after the prosecution.

“He would have been freed a long time ago were it not for the cruelty and insensitivity of the dominant political and justice system that treated him as dispensable and nonexistent for the longest of time,” National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) Secretary General Edre Olalia said in a statement.

“Ultimately and in a fundamental sense, the Philippine government is responsible. All our institutions have failed him and others whose lives are so cheap just like the baby daughter of Andrea Rosal or the hundreds of political prisoners who are sick or elderly or both,” he added.

READ: Andrea Rosal regained her freedom at great cost

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary General Renato Reyes said the death of Serrano “shows the continuing injustice under the Aquino regime. There are now more than 500 political prisoners…these include sick, the elderly and nursing mothers. One notable case was that of Andrea Rosal who lost her baby while under detention. Rosal was released after the charges against her were eventually dismissed.”

In 2015, human rights group Karapatan called on the government to release the political prisoners specifically the elderly, the sickly and nursing mothers.

READ: DOJ Sec. Caguioa must ‘correct’ de Lima’s mistakes—militant groups

Two years ago, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda declared that the Philippines has no political prisoners.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

However, records from human rights groups showed that as of November 2015, there are 491 political prisoners, 220 of them were arrested under the Aquino administration. RAM

TAGS: Human rights, Justice, QCRTC, Quezon City

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.