[Urgent Action] torture of a minor a 17 year old college student in Basilan, Mindanao

Urgent action-torture of a minor a 17 year old college student in Basilan, Mindanao

Dear Friends,

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), writes to inform you about the arrest and alleged torture committed to a native of a Yakan tribe, in sitio Patikul, barangay Matatag, Lamitan City, Basilan Province island of Mindanao, who was arrested on June 23,2011. The alleged perpetrators were said to be members of 32nd Infantry Battalion under 1st Infantry Division of Philippine army and members of Philippine National Police, led by 1LT. Gian Carlo A. Galanza, Philippine Army and Police Chief Inspector Nestor Placio, PNP.

VICTIM                          : ASRAF JAMIRI MUSA, 17 EYARS OLD, A 1ST YEAR
COLLEGE  STUDENT

DATE OF INCIDENT     : JUNE 23,2011 AT ABOUT 1:45PM
PLACE  OF INCIDENT  :sitio Patikul, barangay Matatag, Lamitan City, Basilan
Province
_______________________________________________
CASE BACKGROUND:

Asraf Jamiri Musa, 17 years old and a 1st year college student, taking up Bachelor of Science in Education (BSED), was arrested along with his cousin Pawad Esmael Alpad by members of 32nd IB, 1st IDPA and members of Philippine National Police led by 1LT. Gian Carlo A. Galanza, PA and P/Chief Inspector Nestor Placio, PNP in sitio Patikul, barangay Matatag, Lamitan City, Basilan Province on June 23,2011 at about 1:45 in the afternoon.

According to Asraf, at 11:00 in the morning of June 23,2011, he was sleeping at the house of his aunt where he was staying since he studied elementary along with his cousin Pawad. When, he was awaken by his aunt because of the presence of the military.

Asraf said the military and Police search the house but they did not find anything. Accordingly, they were looking for two (2) Abu Sayyaf members Nurhasan Jamiri and Musanna J. Musa (a kidnap for ransom group), allegedly staying at the house of Hadji Samiri Alpad where Asraf also staying.

They took Asraf and Pawad and brought them to the brigade detachment in Lamitan, the aunt of Asraf accompanied them. At about 30 minutes, they were brought to the military brigade in Tabiawan, Isabela City, Basilan.

Asraf said, he was brought inside the brigade and was made to sit in a waiting shed. He was interrogated and asked if he is an Abu Sayyaf member, he replied that he is a student but they did not believed Asraf. His cousin Pawad was released but he was left behind.

He was brought inside and at about 10:00 in the evening, Asraf was forced to admit about his membership with the Abu Sayyaf group.  He was blindfolded with a handkerchief and handcuffed behind his back. Both feet were tied with a rope and he was punched hitting his stomach for three (3) times. He was also punched at the left side of his body once. When Asraf denied his membership, he was brought to a drum filled with water and was submerged for three (3) times. He was threatened for several times to admit his membership with ASG or he will be killed. Asraf said his head  was wrapped with a cellophane twice and was threatened to be buried.

Afterwards, Asraf was forced to admit again his membership with the group and was again submerged in a drum. Asraf recounted his ordeal which lasted for about two (2) hours. Then, he was brought in a waiting shed where he was tied.

On the following, June 24 in the morning, he was made to take a bath. Afterwards, he was again blindfolded and was brought in an unknown place. He was made to hold a hard object which he did not recognized what kind of object and then he sensed that he was taken pictures. Then, he was brought to the Police station and then to Fiscal’s office in Isabela City and that was the time he learned that it was a hand grenade which the military asked him to hold. Afterwards, he was again brought to Police station.

On June 25, at about 5:00 in the afternoon, he was remanded to Provincial jail in Isabela City, Basilan. A case of Illegal possession of explosive was being charged against him.

According to Asraf, one of his alleged torturer introduced himself as Lt. Galanza and he was able to recognized his companions because his blindfold was loosen.

On June 28,2011 at 10:00 in the morning a medical certificate was issued by Dr. Alfonso L. Bravo, Jr. MD, chief of hospital of Ediborah P. Yap Memorial hospital, Lamitan District hospital, according to his finding;

(+) contusion right forehead 2×3 cm
(+) abrasion, left forehead cm
(+) contusion hematoma 7 x 1 cm bridge of nose
Erythema left chest 2 x 3 cm

Duration of treatment: 7 days

Asraf, on dream is to finish his education in order to help his parents. He said during interview that if ever he will be released he will continue his schooling. This case is a clear violation of his right as a child and curtailing his right to education.

Photo of Asraf Jamiri Musa
Taken at the Provincial Jail, Isabela City, Basilan
Taken on August 2,2011
Taken by John Vincent Mesa of Medical Action Group (MAG)

SUGGESTED ACTION:

KINDLY WRITE THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, PARTICULARLY THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO CONDUCT IMPARTIAL INVESTIGATION REGARDING THE ARREST AND  ALLEGED TORTURE COMMITTED TO THE VICTIM, THEY SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO THE BAR OF JUSTICE AND IF FOUND GUILTY APPROPRIATE SANCTIONS WILL BE METED OUT.  

THE ALLEGED PERPETRATORS WILL TRIED UNDER REPUBLIC ACT 9745 ALSO KNOWN AS THE ANTI-TORTURE LAW OF 2009 AND REPUBLIC ACT 7610, A SPECIAL PROTECTION OF CHILDREN, HIS RIGHTS AS A MINOR SHOULD BE PROTECTED AND OBSERVED.

UNDER REPUBLIC ACT 9344 OR THE JUVENILE JUSTICE & WELFARE ACT OF 2006, PURSUANT TO SECTION 23 OF THE ACT: CHILDREN IN CONFLCIT WITH THE LAW SHALL UNDERGO DIVERSION PROGRAMS WITHOUT UNDERGOING PROCEEDINGS SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS AS PROVIDED IN IT. HENCE, THE COURT SHOULD EVALUATE THE CASE OF THE VICTIM AND IMMEDIATELY PLACED HIM UNDER THE CARE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT.

THE AUTHORITIES SHOULD BE REMINDED TO OBSERVE DUE PROCESS OF LAW AND RESPECT OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

Thank you.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear_______.

Greetings of peace!

I am writing to express my concern regarding the arrest and alleged torture of Asraf Jamiri Musa, a 17 year boy and a 1st year college student, taking up Bachelor of Science in Education. He was arrested along with his cousin by members of 32nd Infantry battalion of Philippine army under 1st Infantry Division and members of Philippine National Police led by 1Lt. Gian Carlo A. Galanza, Philippine army and P/Chief Inspector Nestor Placio, PNP in sition Patikul, barangay Matatag, Lamitan City, Basilan Province in Mindanao on June 23,2011.

I have known that after his apprehension, he was brought to a military brigade in Tabiawan, Isabela City, Basilan where experienced torture. According to information I received, inside the camp, he was blindfolded with a handkerchief and handcuffed behind his back. Both feet were also tied with a rope and he punched hitting his stomach for three (3) times. While being interrogated he was forced to admit his membership with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and when he denied he was brought to a drum filled with water and was submerged for three (3) times. The victim was also threatened for several times to admit his membership with the group or he will be killed. His head was also wrapped with a cellophane twice and was threatened to be buried.

I was also informed that on June 24, he was taken by the military to an unknown place while being blindfolded and was made to hold a hard object which he did not recognized what kind of object he was holding to. Then, he sensed that he was taken pictures. He was brought to the Police station, then, to Prosecutor’s office and then that was the time he learned that the hard object which the military made him to hold was a hand grenade. A case of illegal possession of explosive was being charged against him.

The Philippines is also a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Universal Declaration on Human Rights and also United Nations convention against torture and other degrading treatment or punishment. As signatory to this covenants the Philippine government is bounded to respect and abide by the provisions stipulated therein, which prohibits the use of torture. Our Philippine Constitution, particularly the bill of rights also prohibits the use of torture. The Philippines had also passed Republic Act 9745 also known as the Anti-Torture Law of 2009, which criminalizes acts of torture. Asraf should also be protected under Republic Act 7610, a Special Protection of Children.

I am urging that Asrf Jamiri Musa will be placed under the custody of the department of Social Welfare and development (DSWD) in pursuant to Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.

I am also urging that an impartial investigation will be conducted and perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice.
I trust that you will act favorably.  Thank you and God bless.

Sincerely,

Pls send your letters to:

1.Mr. Benigno Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

2.Hon. Corazon “Dinky” Soliman
Secretary
Department of Social Welfare and development (DSWD)
DSWD bldg., Batasan Hills, 1126 Quezon City, Philippines
Trunkline: (632) 931-81-01 loc. 300, 302, 303
Tel/Fax: (632) 931-81-91
Office: Tel: (632) 931-81-01 to 07

Attention: Atty. Marijoy D. Segui
OIC, Director, Legal Service
Trunklines: (632) 931-81-01 loc 417-418
Tel/Fax: (632) 951-22-38

3.Ms. Loretta Ann Rosales
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
E-mail: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

4. Mrs. Persida V. Rueda-Acosta
Chief, Public Attorney Office (PAO)
DOJ Agencies Building,
NIA Road East Avenue
1104 Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Tel. No.: +63 2 929 9010 / 9436
Fax No. +63 2 927 6810 / 926 2878
Email: chiefacosta@edsamail.com.ph

5. Director General Raul Bacalzo
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2724 8763
Tel: +63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
E-mail: ruth_cossid@yahoo.com

6. Ms. Leila de Lima
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 521 1614
E-mail: soj@doj.gov.ph

7. Mr. Emilio Gonzalez
Deputy Ombudsman
Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military
and Other Law Enforcement Offices
3rd Floor, Ombudsman Bldg., Agham Road, Diliman
1104 Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 926 8747

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