Who’s afraid of Ramon Patriarca?

Dear friends,

On January 25, Ramon Patriarca (arrested and held incommunicado for two weeks, discovered tortured after our Central Visayas team found him in a police station in 2009), NDFP peace consultant, was brought to a Cebu court for the hearing of Patriarca’s countercharges against his torturers.  From late 2009 up to january 25, Patriarca was incarcerated at the Danao City jail. While at the Danao City Jail (located in Cebu), Patriarca – being formerly the TFD regional coordinator of Cebu during the martial law days – helped the common criminal detainees in their legal cases, set up alternative literacy classes inside prison, and led several hunger strikes to upgrade prison conditions.  These actions led to having the detainees’ meal allowance upped from P50/day to P80/day; some of the common criminal detainees were released and of course, many of them were able to read and write.  These developments did not sit well with the present governor and the military, both of them having declared earlier that Cebu is insurgency-free.

So, on Jan. 25, after Patriarca’s hearing, the police did not bring him back to the Danao City jail but instead he was brought to the military camp of the AFP central command, where he was brought and tortured during his arrest in 2009, purportedly with an order coming from the court.  Patriarca and his counsel were not informed nor were they able to have the copy of the court order when he was transferred.  We came out with statements condemning this treacherous, sureptitious effort to sneak him out of the Danao City jail so he was brought instead to the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), with the AFP declaring that their stockade is still being readied for him and he will be brought back to their camp this week.

Our team in Cebu tried to visit him at the CPDRC, even an Amnesty International-USA representative was not able to visit him and now even the family is not allowed.  Patriarca conducted his own humger strike inside the jail to protest this violation.  We are worried about his condition, so we pray that you write letters to the authorities condemning this act against Patriarca’s right.

Thank you very much.

Best regards,

Marie Hilao-Enriquez

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