By: Jaime Sinapit, InterAksyon.com
June 24, 2015 11:05 AM
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines — A human rights organization slammed the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of harassing a political prisoner and his family.
Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said the CIDG had violated the rights of Isidro de Lima by interrogating him for two hours on June 18, allegedly to “coerce” him to give “false testimonies” against Adelberto Silva, who authorities allege is the secretary general of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and his wife, Rosanna Cabusao.
Aside from this, Palabay said CIDG agents alleged conducted surveillance on the wife and children of De Lima and said they would hold the police unit “accountable for any untoward incident that may happen to De Lima’s family.”
Silva, Cabusao and De Lima were arrested June 1 in Bacoor City, Cavite and are detained at the CIDG National Capital Region office in Camp Crame. Charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives have been filed against them, aside from “other trumped up charges in other courts outside Metro Manila” against Silva, Palabay said.
The military says Silva replaced Wilma Tiamzon after she and her husband Benito, the alleged CPP chairman, were captured in Cebu last year.
But Karapatan said Silva is a consultant of the National Democratic Front peace panel and is entitled to protection under the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees while his wife is a founding member of the activist women’s organization Gabriela.
Palabay said the interrogation of De Lima was conducted by “a certain Ignao who introduced himself as De Lima’s nephew” and promised he would be released immediately if he agreed to “cooperate” with authorities.
During the questioning, Ignao supposedly accused visiting members of Silva and Cabusao’s family as “comrades in the movement” and also allegedly gave De Lima P1,000, saying it had nothing to do with the interrogation. However, when De Lima attempted to give the money back after he was returned to his cell, “the guards refused to accept it because there was no ‘Ignao’ among them.”
De Lima has also denied being related to “Ignao,” Palabay said.
On the other hand, Palabay claimed that on June 18, De Lima’s wife noticed men, supposedly CIDG agents, “garbed as ‘beggars’ but sporting cellphones,” near their house in Lucena City.
“Even the neighbors were surprised because it was the first time beggars were seen on their street,” she said.
“On several occasions after De Lima’s arrest, his wife noticed heavily tinted cars parked near their house,” Palabay added.
Before this, on June 10, after visiting De Lima, his children Mia, Mayuno and Elsid “were tailed by three men” who boarded the same bus they took home to Lucena, with one of them sitting beside Elsid.
“Mia and Mayuno were certain they saw one of the men at the CIDG headquarters during their visits,” Palabay said.
She said when the siblings decided to get off the bus halfway to their destination, so did the men. But the De Lima children managed to shake them off.
When Mia again visited her father on June 19, she “saw one of the men who tailed them,” this time wearing “a CIDG shirt with a nameplate” that gave his name as “Catalan,” Palabay said.