“The elderly and the sick are arrested on trumped-up charges while the convicted rapists are freed.”
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA — A police officer admitted in court that irregularities in the standard operating procedures were committed following the arrest of peace consultant Vicente Ladlad and his two companies, Alberto and Virginia Villamor.
During the first hearing on the illegal possession of firearms and explosives case against the three political prisoners on Sept. 12, the prosecution presented Police Major Raleigh Herbert Ampuan before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 93 purportedly to “prove that the arrest of Ladlad and Villamor couple was lawful.”
Ampuan, a medical doctor who works at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory at Camp Crame, said he conducted the physical examination of Ladlad and the Villamor couple on Nov. 8, 2018 at Camp Karingal upon orders from the chief of the Philippine National Police.
Asked by defense if it’s the standard operating procedure for PNP Crime Laboratory to do the physical examination of arrested persons, Ampuan said those arrested should have been brought to the nearest government hospital.
“I asked them [Quezon City police] why did they not bring those arrested to the nearest government hospital. They insisted that I should be the one to examine the three,” Ampuan said during the cross examination. “They told me it’s the command of the Chief of PNP.”
Ampuan also admitted there was no written request for the PNP Crime Laboratory to do the physical examination. “When I asked them [QC police] for the request, they just told me they would give it later.”
In his medico-legal reports, Ampuan noted that the three had the same blood pressure of 140/90. He also said he did not note of any “external findings.”
Asked by one of the defense lawyers Carlos Montemayor if he followed the standards of medical practice, Ampuan answered in the affirmative. Montemayor, also a registered nurse, asked Ampuan if he bothered to know the prevailing medical conditions of the three political prisoners. Ampuan replied, “I am not a government hospital. I am limited only to physical injuries.”
Montemayor asked Ampuan if he observed that Virginia Villamor had difficulty walking and standing up. Ampuan said “Yes.” When asked why he did not note it in his report, Ampuan once again said “he is limited to external physical injuries.”
Bulatlat asked Ladlad and the Villamors if Ampuan indeed subjected them to physical examination after their arrest. Ladlad and Virginia said they could not remember. Alberto said he remembers seeing Ampuan at Camp Karingal but the latter only asked them a few questions.
Rachel Pastores of the Public Interest Law Center and one of the lawyers of Ladlad, told the media that Ampuan “was speaking as a police officer, not a medical doctor.”
“He did not indicate the medical conditions of the three. He did not notice that the hearing aid of Ladlad was missing,” Pastores said.
Ladlad’s wife Fides Lim said the witnesses and the charges are all fake.
The police claimed that they recovered one AK47 with bayonet, an M16A1 assault rifle, two cal. 45 pistols, and 9mm pistol, several loaded magazines, four grenades, and “subversive documents” when they arrested the three in a house at Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City.
Villamor’s daughter Joy Villamor-Pascual told Bulatlat, “My mother is suffering from arthritis. All of them are already old. How could they even carry those firearms?”
Virginia is 68 years old while Alberto is 65. Ladlad is 69 years old.
“The elderly and the sick are arrested on trumped-up charges while the convicted rapists are freed,” Pascual said.
Former Senator Wigberto Tañada Jr. also appeared as collaborating counsel for Ladlad.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Tañada said that the rights of Ladlad and the Villamors were violated.