Judge orders transfer of Ka Bart to Crame

THE Regional Trial Court in Gumaca, Quezon has ordered the transfer of New People’s Army chief Tirso Alcantara from his detention in a military camp to PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

Alcantara, popularly known as Ka Bart was arrested January of last year and was immediately brought to the Philippine Army camp in Taguig City due to intelligence report that he is a “high-risk/security risk detainee and may be rescued by his comrades in the CPP-NPA and that ISG-PA has all the resources to thwart said rescue or escape”.

Alcantara’s lawyer from the Public Interest Law Office filed an opposition saying that the military is committing “blatant violation of Rule 113, Section 3 of the Rules of Court which provides that the person arrested shall be delivered to the nearest police station or jail without unnecessary delay”.

The motion was granted last May 9, 2012 and the court ordered the transfer of Alcantara.

The Intelligence Security Group of Philippine Army filed a Motion for Reconsideration but was denied last July 18, 2012 by Judge Maria Chona E. Pulgar-Navarro of RTC Branch No 61 and reaffirmed the May 9 decision.

Aside from the violation of Rules of Court, families and friends of Alcantara headed by rights group Karapatan from Southern Tagalog region cited the inhumane treatment committed by the military while Alcantara is under their custody.

Karapatan based these allegations from the story of Alcantara’s family who visited him in the military camp.

In the July 18, Resolution, part of the document that cites Alcantara’s condition were as follows:

· Being made to eat  unhealthy and contaminated food
· On three occasions, he discovered shards of broken glass mixed with his rice. Once, he was served rice full of crawling ants
· Once he found three (3) matchsticks mixed with the fish and soup served to him. At one time, he was also served egg which had fecal matter on top of the shell
· On two occasions, he was served fish, which caused him to throw-up. Both times, he gave the left-overs to the cat which also vomited after eating
· Depriving him of access to clean drinking water
· At one time, he was not given drinking water at all for almost three days
· On several occasions, he discovered a bottle cap mixed with his drinking water. The cap appeared to be from a medicine bottle. The water reeked of a strong chemical/medicinal odor

Karapatan during a picket in front of Department of National Defense and Camp Crame denounced this treatment and condemned the military’s continuous act of torture to Alcantara.

“The military has a long record of torture and brutal treatment to prisoners as if taking enjoyment from the Hollywood movies they watched. Former political detainees like Berlin Guerrero and the Tagaytay-5 already attested these. They all got their own piece of unimaginable experiences from the hands of the fascist troops of the government,” Karapatan mentioned in their statement.

A court sheriff, who refused to be identified from fear that the military will get back on him, was sent by the RTC from Gumaca to deliver the resolution last August 13.

But according to the reports of Karapatan, the legal counsel of ISG-PA Alex Alberto M. Popanes instructed the sheriff to went on a tedious process of going from one office to another inside the camp and ended without getting any concrete action from the ISG-PA.

Karapatan challenged the current administration to take action immediately on the matter and announced that they “will hold protest-actions to condemned these state barbarisms to political prisoners.”

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