On May 25, Roxas was dropped off near the house of her uncle in Quezon City. Her captors left her with a SIM card and a cellphone as well as the handcuffs they had used on her. Roxas was also warned against talking to Karapatan.
One of her captors who introduced himself as RC also told her that they would be monitoring all her activities and something bad would happen if she would not cooperate. From the day of her release, RC was calling Roxas through the phone, warning her against taking any actions.
Pamugas, the physician, said Roxas sustained abrasions on wrists due to handcuffs. The medical certificate prepared by Pamugas also indicates abrasions on Roxas’s knees.
But more than the physical torture, Pamugas said Roxas would have to deal longer with the psychological toll of her ordeal. “She is suffering from acute stress disorder caused by the trauma,” Pamugas said during the press conference.
“She had difficulty falling into and maintaining sleep; was afraid to go out of her room and would not want to be alone. She had intrusive thoughts and was re-experiencing her trauma,” Pamugas said. The doctor also noted the victim’s “hyper-vigilance.” “She gets startled even by the slightest sound.”
Justice, Not Cover-Up
“The Arroyo government must answer for the abduction and torture of Melissa and her companions by punishing security forces who have perpetrated this dastardly act,” said Lorena Santos, deputy secretary-general of Desaparecidos, an organization of families of victims of so-called enforced disappearances.
Desaparecidos said there have been 201 victims of enforced disappearances since 2001 up to the first quarter of this yea. Abductions, torture and extrajudicial killings have been attributed to the counter-insurgency program of the government Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL-Operation Freedom Watch) of the military.
Respondents to the writ of amparo filed by Roxas include President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, AFP Chief of Staff Victor Ibrado, Philippine National Police Director Gen. Jesus Versoza and Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, commanding general of the Philippine Army.
Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. criticized the Presidential Human Rights Commission (PHRC), which is chaired by executive secretary Eduardo Ermita, for claiming that Karapatan and Bayan fabricated the abduction of Roxas, Carabeo and Jandoc.
In its statement last week, the PHRC said there were no reports to the local authorities about the abduction of the three. But Karapatan’s Enriquez furnished the media a copy of the La Paz police report on the incident. The police report was also attached to Roxas’s petition for writ of amparo.
Reyes slammed the apparent attempts of the Arroyo government to cover up the case of Roxas, Carabeo and Jandoc. “We will not allow this case to be just a part of the statistics of abduction and torture.
Reyes said Roxas also reported the incident to the US Embassy in Manila. “The US government must seriously reconsider providing military aid to the Philippine government especially in the light of the abduction of an American citizen by state security agents here in the Philippines,” Reyes said.
Enriquez also said they will continue to search for Jandoc and press charges against their abductors. (Bulatlat.com)