Tanod Publication & Logo


Tanod Publication & Logo


This folder contains various issues of Tanod, detailing political prisoners in the Philippines, interfered elections, & Philippine military operations against the New People's Army


Anti-Martial Law Coalition


1978 June


For other purposes, please contact Bulosan Center archivist Jason Sarmiento at ajsarmiento@ucdavis.edu.







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Publication of the National Resource Center on
Political Prisoners in the Philippines
( Project of the Anti-Martial Law Coalition- Philippines)
VOLUME 1, Number 2 JUNE 1978 FREE
Mondale Pleaser
Marcos Denies Political Prisoners Exist
President Marcos and U.S. Vice President Mondale
conferred on U.S. -R. P. relations during the latter's visit to
the Philippines last April. Marcos again denied the
existence of political prisoners despite overwhelming
evidence prouing otheru•ise.
Once again, in his visit with U.S. Vice President Walter
Mondale, President Marcos has asserted that "there are no
political prisoners remaining in the country. Those still
under detention are prisoners facing charges'' (Times
Journal, May 4, 1978). Actually, as of March 31, 1978 there
were 552 political detainees accounted for in the country's
military stockades; 27 political detainees are still on the
missing list; and 25 political detainees of only one detention
center (Bicutan Center) are still without charges. The 1973
Philippine Constitution guarantees the right to a speedy,
public and impartial trial (Article IV, Sec. 16 and 19).
So regardless of the verbal ''sleight of hand,'' there are
political detainees in the Philippines; there are persons
under detention for political reasons as well as for political
crimes. (PP Update, May 5, 1978). •
Tantiado, Luarca
Dirty Elections Casualties
Though unknown to each other, Teotimo Tantiado and
Orlando Luarca were similar in many ways during their
brief but inspiring lifetimes. Both were poor peasants lured
to the big city, Manila, by the hope of a better future. Both
found out the harsh reality that lay behind the glitter of city
life, where one had to eke out a living through hard toil.
Both came to the realization that the promise of a better
future lay in social change. Both worked for social change,
Teotimo as a church worker; Orlando as a trade unionist;
together as advocates for clean elections during the last
polls. Both returned home for the last time in May to be
Ironically, returning home was foremost on Teotimo' s
mind on April 10, the day he was apprehended at the Loyola
House of Studies by a team of Metrocom Intelligence men.
On the same day, Teotimo ''Timoy,'' had planned to leave
for Buhi, Camarines Sur, with his sister on the occasion of
the fourth death anniversary of their late father. Timoy
never showed up at the appointed time, keeping instead, a
surprise visit with the military. For four days, not a word
was heard of Timoy and a co-worker, Lorenzo Faustino ( still
in detention), arrested with him. Meanwhile, rumours
circulated that he was being heavily tortured. On April 15,
Fr. Elmer Romero called Col. Rolando Abadilla, head of the
Metrocom unit which arrested Timoy, to verify the
rumours. A badilla replied with a bare-faced lie that the two
were still being investigated. Little did Fr. Romero and
concerned Jesuits like him suspect that Timoy was already
According to records at V. Luna Hospital, Tantiado was
admitted on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. He seemed seriously ill
and kept uttering incoherent remarks indicating delirium.
Once he bit a dextrose tubing attached to him and drank the
fluid directly. On April 13, Timoy was brought to the
Surgical Intensive Care Unit where he died at 4:00 p.m.,
April 15. Cause of death was listed as "acute pancreatitis"
- the rupture of the pancreas and the release of digestive
juices to other internal organs. Turn to page 6

During the last elections, thousands took to the streets to
raise the democratic rights of the Filipino p eople. Among
them, as the banner above reads is ''Free all Political
Prisoners. '·
'' International press did help a lot in our release,'' wrote
one recently released polit ical detainee . This young
prisoner had been held for three months without trial in
Bicutan prison outside of Manila. Her charge- ' 'subversion.''
Evidence to substantiate this charge - none.
Like thousands of other political prisoners in the
Philippines, her freedom was subject to the prosecutorial
discretion of the martial law military apparatus . Due to
international publicity on her case and on those others
arrested with her, and to massive g rassroots pressure
against the jailor government for its perpetration of
injustices, she was released. But thousands of innocent
men and women continue to remain their cells- for weeks,
for months, for years deprived of their liberty.
In an effort to internationally spotlight the arbitrary and
brutal arrests of innocent persons in the Philippines under
President Marcos, and thereby work for their eventual
release from prison, the National Resource Center on
Political Prisoners in the Philippines has begun its adopt-aprisoner
campaign. Groups will work on behalf of specific
prisoners whose dossiers have been disseminated to them
on request (see back page) by the NRCPPP. This work will
include publicizing the plight of each prisoner in the local
press and media, and pressuring the Marcos government
for each prisoner's release by intensive letter writing
campaigns each month aimed at top government officials
in the Philippines. It is work of this nature that has been
effective in securing the release of thousands of men and
women who have been political prisoners in countries
especially sensitive to international public opinion (and to
foreign aid) - such as the Philippines.
Your letters could mean the difference between
imprisonment and liberty. Join us . •
TANOD • June 1978
TANOD draws its information from Political Prisoners
Update and Quarterly, publications of the Task Force On
Detainees, and various documentation and profile
provided by concerned groups in the Philippines.
Should you have access to any information which
would be helpful in promoting the cause of political
prisoners, please share with us.
Since President Marcos declared martial law in the
Philppines in 1972, over 60,000 persons have been
arrested for political reasons. Brutal torture has been
applied to these political prisoners systematically. Many
have died in detention. Others have simply '' disappeared''
- later to be found dead.
The judicial system within which political detainees
are tried is that of the military tribunal - described as '' a
mockery" by prominent U.S. civil rights attorney John
c~ughlan and as a "farce" by one reputable International
Commission of Jurists observer. "Justice" is delivered
by Marcos-appointed judges whose very employment
depends on compliance with the will of the President.
In light of these consistent and widespread violations
of internationally recognized human rights which have
shown no sign of subsidence although now universally
acknowledged by respected non-governmental organizations
such as Amnesty International, it has become
crucial to widely publicize the patterns and victims of
repression in the Philippines and to initiate campaigns
aimed at preventing further human rights violations.
TANOD, the monthly bulletin of the National Resource
Center on Political Prisoners in the Philippines is
responding to this need to monitor, inform the general
public on, and challenge martial law policy with regard to
political dissent. TANOD, or "to watch," broadly
suggests vigilance and the protection of life in a
community where just law in inoperative.
The National Resource Center on Political Prisoners in
the Philippines was created during the October 1977
conference of the Anti-Martial Law Coalition. The
NRCPPP is committed to generating support for
Philippine prisoners through letter writing and telegram
campaigns directed at the Marcos regime; fundraisers
for prisoners and their families; and the dissemination of
literature publicizing their plight.•

TANOD • June 1978 3
Six Freed Under Gag
Senator Lorenzo Tanada and other members of the
opposition LABAN party as they were hauled off to prison
last April 9.
Six political foes of President Marcos were freed June 6
on the condition that they not talk to journalists or support
''subversive'' organizations.
The release of former senator Francisco Rodrigo and
five others came two days after Marcos announced that all
charges of sedition and illegal assembly would be dropped
against them and more than 500 arrested in April for
anti-government demonstrations.
The six had to pledge not ''to join or support directly or
indirectly any subversive organization or association or join
any lawless gang."
''That's not difficult to do,'' Rodrigo said in a telephone
interview, ''but I have my own definition of subversion."
Police arrested the opposition demonstrators April 9
during a march through downtown Manila protesting
martial law and alleged vote rigging at the National
Assembly elections earlier that month.
All others were released earlier. They included former
Senator Lorenzo Tanada, 79, who had been the opposition's
chief campaign manager.
The others freed June 6 were Ernesto Rondon and
Teopisto Guingona, members of the 1971 convention which
drafted the present parliamentary constitution; Aquilino
Pimentel, the Rev. Romeo Intengan and Joker Arroyo,
chief attorney for the opposition party.
All but Intengan and Arroyo contested the April elections
in which Marcos' party swept into office. (Associated Press)
''Sylvia Sales''
ldentif ied, Located
Evelyn Sarmiento (alias Sylvia Sales) has also been
located at the MSU, Ft. Bonifacio. Earlier, it had been
reported that Sylvia Sales was missing. Evelyn who was
with the party arrested with Sison, was recently reunited
with her sister Norma on April 6, 1978. Norma acting on
a hunch, repeatedly pressed the Department of National
Defense to allow her access to the then unknown Sylvia
Sales. Letters and telegrams urging the transfer of
Evelyn to regular detention quarter is highly recommended.•
Sison Still -
The whereabouts of Jose
Ma. Sison, alleged chairman
of the Communist Party
of the Philippines has
been traced to the Military
Security Unit (MSU), Fort
Bonifacio, reliable sources
Mr. Sison has been held
incommunicado in an isolation
cell since his arrest
along with four others last
Nov. 10. Meanwhile, a campaign
urging the military to
transfer Sison to regular
Mr. Sison has been held
incommunicado in an isola-
Jose Ma. Sison has been tion cell since his arrest
kept in solitary confine- along with. four others last
ment for over seven Nov. 10. Meanwhile, a cammonths.
paign urging the military to
transfer Sison to regular detention quarters is being
unfolded by the International Association of Filipino
Patriots (IAFP), a U.S. AND Canada based organization
supporting the Philippine resistance. Already, 400 signatures
to a petition urging the military to allow Sison access
to family, and defense, have been gathered. Copies of the
petitions were sent to President Marcos, Defense Secretary
Enrile and Amnesty International. For more information
write: IAFP, P.O. Box 24737, Oakland CA 94623.•
Ailing Detainee
Pleas For Release
Joaquin Rivera, arrested in October 1974 and presently
detained at the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center, is pleading
for his release on medical grounds. Rivera is suffering from
osteomyelitis - the inflamation of the bone and marrow as a
result of infection - and could only seek adequate medical
attention and save his leg from amputation under
conditions of freedom.
Upon his arrest, Rivera only suffered from a gunshot
wound which was only attended to after two weeks had
elapsed. Under the ''care'' of Camp Crame physicians, the
wound ''progressed'' to a bone fracture: Only a year later
was he transferred to the National Orthopedic Hospital
where he underwent major surgery. His family went into
heavy debt to pay for medicines amounting to more than
P5,000.00. Against his doctor's advice, he was moved to
Camp Crame and later to Bicutan where follow-up care is
nearly impossible.
Rivera is seldom visited by relatives; his widowed mother
having to support many other dependents. Letters pressing
for his release as well as donations for his medical
expenses, are strongly urged. •

TANOD • June 1978
Eastern Samar
Military Terrorism Escalates
Despite mounting concern and indignation
over military operations against
innocent civilians in Eastern Samar,
arbitratry arrests, forced evacuation,
atrocities and murders, continue unabated.
The latest round of abuses occurred
between April 19 to May 27, 1978 in
Dolores and surrounding villages. Over
this period, ten persons were arrested,
six of these tortured, six more killed and
18 houses burned by elements of the
Task Force Leysam, Armed Forces of
the Philippines (AFP). On April 19,
three brothers, Romeo, Mario and Jose
Lazarra were arrested, tortured and
held hostage for their brother who was
suspected to be a member of the New
Peoples Army. In the following days
Loreto J ardio, Zosimo Ribarter, Sen soy
Calvo, Joseph Ducabo, Artemio Boletin
and his small child, Francisco Nebreja
and his 69-year old grandfather, were
rounded up and arrested.
Between April 23 to May 7, the
following were killed: Abe and Berting
Rivato ; Soseng Aberia and his son , and
Magdaleno Lazarra and a companion,
Adding a gruesome finish to their
rampage, Army troopers stationed in
Bo. Buenavista, severed the ears and
thumbs and slit the abdomens of
Magdaleno and Eufracio.
Map of Samar. Calbiga is under the
seige of military forces who abuse
p eople at will.
These series of crimes fallows a
national pattern of punitive actions
against local populations suspected of
supporting the insurgent New Peoples'
Army (NPA). Over 1977, there has been
an upsurge in military abuses in the
provinces of Davao del Norte, Cagayan
Valley, Ilocos-Montanosa, Negros Occidental
and Eastern Samar - areas
where the NP A reportedly draws significant
In 1978 however, military counterinsurgency
activity has been most
concentrated and acutely felt in the
economically depressed provinces of
N egros Occidental and Eastern Samar,
both located in the Visayas. Some 23
deaths in the hands of the military have
been reported from these two provinces
alone between January and March, this
One of the worst afflicted towns is
Calbiga, Eastern Samar where the Task
Force Leysam and the 553rd Company
have forcibly evacuated some four
hundred families from nineteen adjoining
barrios. One resident has described
the situation as '' worse than the
Japanese occupation." Prior to the
mass evacuation, military troops roamed
the barrios arresting and torturing
anyone they suspected and confiscating
at will, the food, poultry, livestock, farm
implements and other properties of the
Occasionally, the trigger-happy soldiers
would decapitate the heads of
their victims and display these in the
town plaza to serve warning to those
who would resist their tyranny. Even
the mayor could not oppose the rule of
the military for he is under heavy
surveillance. He has been threatened
several times for reporting atrocities to
military higher ups.
The following reports are a few
examples of the murders and other
Turn to page 7
Mau ban Victims'
Freedom for 20 Asked
Whereabouts - a Mystery
Letters and cables demanding
information on
fou r detainees miss ing
since August 1977, are urgently
needed. Jessica Sales,
Gerardo Faustino, Rizalina
Ilagan, Bong Sison
and Cristina Cattalla, are
claimed by the 11 P . C.
Zone Command to have
been killed in an armed
encounter in Mauban, Quezon.
They were allegedly J essica Sales, former U. P.
buried in a common grave instructor is still missing.
in Lucena City. Only
Bong's body however, has
in Lucena City, Only Bong's body however, has been
exhumed and positively identified. Sightings of J essica in
the company of military men were reported four times
from the period of August to November, 1977.•
Relatives of Prisoners
Petition Mondale
Some sixty-eight relatives of political prisoners petitioned
U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale to inquire on the
human rights situation of political detainees, last April 30.
In particular, the relatives pressed Mondale to inquire on
the non-implementation of Letter of Instruction No. 621
providing among others, for the grant of temporary release
to any detainee "for humanitarian considerations."
The group recommended the release of twenty political
prisoners who, because of illness or personal difficulties,
qualified for temporary release. Their open letter read in
part: ''We believe that long, indefinite detention and
torture inflicted upon our detainee-relatives already call for
redress. Moreover, we believe that the mental and
emotional sufferings and economic difficulties undergone
by our families make for just, humanitarian grounds to
grant our petitions for the release of our detained

TANOD • June 1978 5
Visayan Farmer
Lay Worker Remembers 19-Hour Ordeal
Leonila Artagme, baring the marks of torture, was one
victim of fhe escalating abuses of the military in the
My name is Leonilo Alberto Artagme. I was born in
Victorias on Sept. 27, 1953. My father is Benito Artagme,
48 years old, and my mother is Rizalina Alberto Artagme,
4 7 year old. I have five brothers, two sisters and I am the
eldest in my family. My father works on his 4. 06 hectares of
rice and com fields, and my brother is a sugar worker. On
Oct. 19, 1974, I began to work for the parish in our barrio in
Banman, Locotan, Kabankalan, Negros Occidental as a lay
leader in prayer services and later I began to help give
seminars in the parishes.
The following is a true account of my experience on the
night of Feb. 6, 1978.
It was Monday evening at about 11:00 when I heard an
angry voice calling' 'Boy, Boy, Boy!'' Because I recognized
the voice, without hesitation, I opened the door. But as soon
as I stepped outside, somebody pointed a gun at me and
ordered me to come down from our house. I was not able to
refuse. When I came down, they brought me to the santol
tree near our house. While hitting me with the muzzle of a
gun, one of them asked me if I saw a man carrying a
sub-machine gun. I answered, "No, sir.'' Then I felt the
butt of the gun, hitting me on the back and then I was asked
another question, '' Did you see any man with a gun going
by?" I answered, "No, sir." Then the muzzle of the gun
was hit against my ribs.
Then they ordered all the males to come out of the house
and asked the same questions. They also answered ''No.''
They asked me '' Where are they?'' I answered, '' I don't
know.'' Then they tied and blindfolded me. ·They brought
me a short distance away from our house. They constantly
kicked and hit me with their fists and the muzzle and butt of
the gun. Then they took hold of my two feet and dragged
me. After a while, I was untied and the blindfold removed.
At that time, I did nGt know what happened to my father and
brother, Elizalde.
We walked for about a kilometer and then I saw their six
by six truck (approaching). We rode for about an hour and
then stopped at a very secluded place. I was ordered to get
down from the truck, and I got down. Somebody again
asked me, "Where is Juan?" I answered, "I don't know
sir.'' One of them said, ''We cannot do anything with him,
it's better if we finish him (up)." I was hit again and again
and then one of them said, ''I will finish him. sir.·'
At that time I became aware that they were miJitary n1en.
He clicked the bolt on his gun. Their commander said,
'' Fool we will run over him so there will be no
investigation.'' They all got up on the truck and the driver
was ordered to run over me. I had not totally lost
consciousness and when the truck backed up, I rolled and
ran as fast as I could.
When I was a short distance away, I head explosions and
felt a sharp pain in my left shoulder. I ran faster until I
reached a cane plantation and I went in to hide n1yse1f
because they were running after me. They searched . . .
for about 15 minutes but could not find me. I overheard
them saying, ''He's no longer here, sir.·' And ... the
commander said, ''Even if we cannot find hiin. it doesn't
matter, because he cannot survive his wounds .... ·'
I think at that time it was about 3: 00 in the morning of
Feb. 7 when they (finally) left. About an hour later, I started
to walk until I reached a clearing. I slept at a camote
plantation and it was about 8:00 in the morning when I woke
up. I went to a nearby brook to wash. A man who was
grazing his carabao passed by and I implored him to help
me but he did not.
I did not eat for the whole day and the sun was hot. I
went back to the camote plantation at about 3:00 in the
afternoon to lie down. It so happened that I heard
somebody chopping wood on the other side of the brook so
I asked for help. It was about 6:00 p.m. when I finally
drank some boiled water. Later my friends came and
brought me to a house neasr the clearing. At about 11 :00
p. m., Fr. Hogan arrived in his Toyota and picked me up
and brought me to the hospital. I stayed in the hospital
until Feb. 21, 1978.
Leonilo Artagme

6 TANOD • June 1978
Teotimo Tantiado
From page 1
What did Timoy do to deserve such a fate? For those who
knew him, Timoy was a hard working young man, forced by
poverty and the death of his father to assume the role of
breadwinner at the age of 15. Timoy worked odd jobs at Bo.
Capre, Novaliches, Quezon City and interspersed his time
v;ith community work and church-related activities. He was
also an office aide to Fr. Romeo lntengan of the Jesuit
order. Timoy 's last weeks were spent volunteering as a poll
\.\ratcher at the Bo. Capre voting center and hawking the
newspaper Malayang Pilipinas.
His brief record in community involvement could hardly
be deemed "subversive," much less warrant his death by
torture. This paradox had led many to believe that Timoy
was a victim of circumstances-a convenient scapegoat
caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. His death is
further proof of the thoroughly cruel nature of the Marcos
dictatorship. Angered by the massive outpour of civilian
discontent throughout the election period, the regime
struck back at its critics blindly and with a vengeance.
Arbitrary arrests, surveillance and a travel ban were used
to force back the citizenry into submission. But the
dictatorship not only demanded scapegoats upon which to
ventilate its fury: it demanded sacrificial lambs as well in
the persons of Tirnoy, Orlando and many yet unknown
casualties of the infamous elections.
It was against this backdrop of terror and retaliation that
Orlando "Ka. Orly" Luarca met his death on April 22.
Rather than be cowed, Ka. Orly braved the repressive
headwinds to tell the truth about the fraudulent elections.
But then danger was nothing new to Ka. Orly. A trade
unionist at the Sacoba Manufacturing Corporation, Ka.
Orly had just led a successful strike, amidst difficulties,
sacrifice and great personal risk.
He was distributing leaflets to churchgoers and
passersby in front of the Pasig Church, Barrio Kapasigan
when three military operatives arrested him. Eyewitnesses
identified his assailants as Robert Vasco, a trooper of the
221st Constabulary Detachment; Patrolman Antonio Buenavides
and a certain ·'Abe,'' both of the Pasig police.
Unfazed by the presence of many bystanders, the three
frisked Ka. Orly and confiscated all his things. Then he was
brought to Plaza Pariancillo where he was severely
manhandled and publicly ridiculed as a "thief and
snatcher. ' ' He was then dragged to a private jeep and
brought to the Pasig rotunda where the second round of
investigation ensued. There Luarca suffered anew from
blows and kicks dealt by all three. Unable to extract
information from him on the whereabouts of his companions,
one of his arresting officers drew a gun and shot
Luarca in the neck, arms and torso.
Ka. Orly was buried in his native Marinduque the first
week of May. A week ordinarily marked by demonstrations
and celebrations, extolling the working class' cause.
When a government's express policy is to persecute and
even kill its detractors, it goes without saying that
implementation is complete from beginning to end. The
Tantiado and Luarca were among the thousands of
Filipinos who demonstrated and organized for a fair
end is always a whitewash of the crime; a concerted attempt
to protect the killers because the very existence of the
government depends on their service. Such was the end for
Timoy and Ka. Orly.
On April 24, the regime broke its silence on the Tantiado
murder. The controlled press printed the following story on
Tantiado: ''There was no foul play involved in the death of
the 17-year old boy. He died of natural causes. The
investigation is over.'' The ''newstory'' was actually a
press release from the Department of National Defense,
copied word for word by all dailies. It was the first and
maybe the last time Manila readers will ever hear of
Teotimo Tantiado-from the Marcos side at least. Even
Timoy' s autopsy report was tampered with. Col. Rolando
Abadilla, best known for the "Marikina shoemaker
murder,'' ordered traumatic pancreatitis changed to acute
pancreatitis as if a mere change in words could
satisfactorily explain how the previously healthy Timoy
died suddenly of '' natural causes'' after four days of
detention. Even the large bruised area directly above his
pancreas, indicating heavy trauma, was labeled a birthmark.
Ka. Orly's death on the other hand, was publicized as a
case of self-defense. The worker martyr was actually a
would-be assailant had not a quick witted trooper fired
first , the military claimed.
But there is another end to the tragedies of Tantiado and
Luarca. An end which in the long-run will prevail over the
government's whitewash. By killing Timoy and Ka. Orly,
the government has not been rid of two less dissidents. On
the contrary, the regime has created two more martyrs
whose memories will continue to inspire the participation of
many more in the resistance against the Marcos dictatorship.
An account of Timoy' s life and death is being
massively disseminated throughout the country, rousing
public anger.
Ka. Orly's death is sending waves of indignation among
the restive workers' ranks. As his fellow workers put it:
"Ka. Orly's death was a great loss to the genuine trade
union movement and the workingman's cause but his spirit
shall forever dwell in our minds. Experience has again
taught us that, with Ka. Orly's unflinching commitment to
the people, there is a far greater need for all workers to
unite and fight for their emancipation even if they be
deemed 'subversives.''•

TANOD • June 1978
New AMLC Report A Report
'' Philippine dictator Ferdinand
E. Marcos, whose
name will long be synonymous
with corruption and
wanton violation of human
rights, may yet pull the
biggest fraud he has perpetrated
so far on the Filipino
people - lift martial
law, without surrendering
his one-man rule."
So began the introductory
section of the Anti- Rene Cruz, AMLC coordi-
Martial Law Coalition's la- nator
test release, ''Marcos' Plan To Lift Martial Law:
Democracy in Form, Dictatorship in Substance." For one
unfamiliar with the political shell games of the Marcos
dictatorship, this assertion may seem like an uncanny
prediction. Approximately two weeks after the release of
the pamphlet, Marcos announced on June 12, his intention
to end six years of martial law rule. What a coincidence!
Written by AMLC National Coordinator Rene Cruz, the
concise analysis demonstrates that even with the lifting of
martial law, the Filipino people's democratic rights and
freedoms- will remain suspended. The pamphlet is
available for free at the following address: AMLC National
Staff Office, 41-32 56th Street, Woodside, NY 11377. •
The new report of the 1977 Friends of the Filipino
People-Anti-Martial Law Coalition Investigating Mission
to the Philippines, ''Human Rights and Martial Law in the
Philippines" has assailed the facade of benign "constitutional
authoritarianism'' promulgated by President Marcos.
The succinct report, written by members of the
mission and published by the National Resource Center
On Political Prisoners in the Philippines sets forth the
findings of the investigation and details current human
rights violations in the Philippines, which include among
other things '' ... the mockery of due process and normal
legality which marked the trial of Trinidad Herrera· s
torturers,'' and the frequent and systematic infliction of
torture upon political detainees, ''brutal yet sophisticated
enough so as to minimize permanent scars."
The report corroborates the findings of the reports of
Amnesty International, The International Commission of
Jurists and the Association of Major Religious Superiors
and goes further as the mission members recount their
first hand exposure of a ''safehouse''-secret detention
center where torture normally takes place after arrestand
vividly relate their experience at a human rights
teach-in which was brutally disrupted by water cannons
and truncheon wielding police.
The report, with an introduction by Representative
Yvonne Brathwaite Burke (Dem.-CA) is available for $1.00
through the National Resource Center on Political
Prisoners in the Philippines.•
From page 4
atrocities perpetrated by the 533rd
Company under the command of Major
Pedro Montano:
• Molito Mabute was killed on Dec.
29, 1977. Molito was mentally deranged
and thus when asked if he was an NPA,
responded with nods. Molito was shot
for nodding at a question he did not even
• On January 31, 1978, a man was
killed in Barangay Botoc. The man was
gathering firewood when upon seeing
approaching soldiers, decided to run.
He was shot and brought to the
barangay captain for identification. He
died before he could be identified or
• On January 26, 1978, a team of P. C.
soldiers looted and ransacked some
houses in Pinabacdao, bringing with
them radios, roosters and some cash.
• On January 29, 1978 a boy was
maltreated in the Calbiga '' gallera,''
taken to the camp for interrogation and
later shot in the evening.
Meanwhile, the plight of the refugees
continues to worsen and their ranks,
swells by the day. The refugees estimated
at over 2,000, live in makeshift
shanties near the town proper. Conditions
are described as sub-human and
disease and malnourishment are rampant.
At least three children have died
of El Tor, a cholera strain. Schooling has
been discontinued and the evacuees are
constantly hounded by fear and other
Because farming, the main source of
income for this town, has ground to a
standstill, the whole town is feared to
experience food shortages and starvation
in the months ahead. Some farmers
have sneaked out of the evacuation
centers at night to gather root crops in
their deserted farms which remain offlimits
to all but the military.
The Archbishop of Calbayog and
various religious groups are the only
other sources of assistance for the
refugees. On several occasions the
Archbishop and evacuee-delegates
have made representations to the regional
P. C. and Army officials. They
have received verbal promises but no
concrete actions to date. It is believed
that the complete cessation of military
activity in the area could only come \\-Tith
massive pressure from inside and
outside the country.
Meanwhile in Negros, the people
have turned the situation to their favor
through protest actions . Fed up with the
abuses of Task Force Mananaba.."'lg,
some 5,000 persons staged a march and
rally on March 5 of this year. The antimilitary
sentiment is reportedly so
widespread that the P. C. Provincial
Commander of Bacolod, Col. de Villa,
recently resigned. '' If the people recognize
the NP A as their army, and not the
AFP, then there is no reason for our
existence," commented de Villa. A
protest mass was even held inside the
Bacolod Police Headquarters to denounce
the atrocities of the AFP. Some
soldiers were even moved to tears as
they listened to the accounts of rape,
murder and other atrocities, heaped on
their fell ow N egrenses. •

Campaign Focus on Samar
Refugees, Election Casualties
In response to appeals of political prisoners for assistance in calling attention
to, and immediate action on, their grievances and demands, the NRCPP ll' ill be
launching letter writing campaigns to intercede on their behalf.
This month, the NRCPP will focus on the specific concerns of Samar refugees
and will seek justice for the deaths of Teotimo Tantiado and Orlando Luarca. We
encourage all to participate.
I am deeply concerned over the reported deaths of Teotimo Tandiado, a church
worker and Orlando Luarca, a trade unionist, in the hands of your military.
Tantiado was arrested on April 10 by men under the command of Col. Rolando
Abadilla (Metrocom) and was discovered dead five days later. Luarca, reports
say, was publicly shot by an Army soldier, Roberto Vasco on April 22 in Pasig,
If as you say. military personnel found guilty of torture will be punished, I
sincerely hope your office will take action against the men involved in the deaths
of Tantiado and Luarca.
Furthermore, reports that the conduct of your military in Eastern Samar, has
caused the evacuation of 400 families in Calbiga, deserves prompt attention.
The lives of the Calbiga townfolk have been disrupted physically and
economically by the presence of Task Force Leysam and the 553rd Company in
their barrios. In light of these conditions, I urge your office to take action on the
follo""·ing demands:
1. Cease all military operations in Eastern Samar. withdraw all forces from the
2. Provide adequate assistance to evacuees created by the military situation;
recompense all victims of military abuse;
3. Release all those arrested.
In return for a political prisoner dossier (which includes
prisoner profile, san1ple letters and addresses of Philippine
government authorities, and suggested media and fundraising
approaches), I agree to send quarterly updates on
all activities on behalf of our adopted prisoner to the
National Resource Center on Political Prisoners in the
Philippines, P. 0. Box 27118, Oakland, CA 94602, with
copies of all responses received from Philippine authorities.
,-------------- ----- --- -, NCRPPP
TA OD • June 197c
Whom to Write
The NRCPPP recommends that letters,
or copies of letters be furnished to
the following officials:
Pres. Ferdinand Marcos
Malacanang Palace, Manila
Mr. Juan Ponce Enrile
Department of National Defense
Camp Aguinaldo, Manila
Major-General Fidel Ramos
Headquarters of the
Philippine Constabulary
Camp Crame, Quezon City
Mr. Carmelo Barbero
Department of National Defense
Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
Mr. Jose Crisol
Office of Detain~e Affairs
Department of National Defense
Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
In the U.S., we recommend that
copies of your letters be furnished to
your representative in Congress and:
Ms. Pat Derian
Office of Human Rights, Rm. 7802
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
I D I would like to join the adopt-a-prisoner cam- I
I paign I
: D I would like to participate in your monthly letter I
P.O. Box 27118
Oakland, CA 94602
Bulk Rate
U.S. Postage
Permit No. 3383
Oakland, Ca.
writing campaigns I I D I would like to receive T ANOD and other I
l publications of the NRCPPP. I
I Name- -------------- I
1 Address_________________ I
I I Organization ________________ I l Telephone Numb_:_r _____________ _ J

Volume 1, Nune• 1 April 1978
Vigilance, Protedion of Life
Since President Marcos declared martial law in the
Philppines in 1972, over 60,000 persons have been
arrested for political reasons. Brutal torture has been
applied to these political prisoners systematically. Many
have died in detention. Others have simply "disappeared'
' - later to be found dead.
The judicial system within which political detainees
are tried is that of the military tribunal - described as '' a
mockery" by prominent U.S. civil rights attorney John
Caughlan and as a "farce" by one reputable International
Commission of Jurists observer. "Justice" is delivered
by Marcos-appointed judges whose very employment
depends on compliance with the will of the President.
In light of these consistent and widespread violations
of internationally recognized human rights which have
shown no sign of subsidence although now universally
acknowledge by respected nongovernmental organizations
such as Amnesty International, it has become
crucial to widely publicize the patterns and victims of
repression in the Philippines and to initiate campaigns
aimed at preventing further human rights violations.
TANOD, the monthly bulletin of the National Resource
Center on Political Prisoners in the Philippines is
responding to this need to monitor, inform the general
public on, and challenge martial law policy with regard to
political dissent. TANOD, or ' 'to watch,'' broadly
suggests vigilance and the protection of life in a
community where just law in inoperative.
The National Resource Center on Political Prisoners in
the Philippines was created during the October 1977
conference of the Anti-Martial Law Coalition. The.
NRCPPP is committed to generating support for
Philippine prisoners through letter writing and telegram
campaigns directed at the Marcos regime; fundraisers
for prisoners and their families; and the dissemination of
literature publicizing their plight.•
Testimony of One Survivor .................. 5
Three Bicutan Detainees Escape ........... 7
Importance of International Support ...... 2
Where is Jessica?
'Salvaging' -
Unofficial Death Policy
Jessica Sa/,es was an active leader in the Student Christian
Movement at the time of her disappearance.
In August of 1977, six students and one instructor at the
University of the Philippines, mysteriously disappeared.
The students: Modesto "Bong" Sison, Cristina Cattalla,
Rizalina Ilagan, Gerardo Faustino, Ramon Jasul, and
Erwin Cruz and the instructor, Jessica Sales, were all well
known among various student and academic circles in
Manila. Shortly after their disappearance, verification was
received of their arrest in Makati, Manila, spurring their
anxious parents to scour the prisons of Metro Manila and
nearby provinces. Their search ended tragically at the
Lucena City Public Cemetary, on Sept. 28, 1977. The body
of Bong Sison was found buried in a common grave with
three others. Nearby was another grave containing three
more bodies. All victims are believed to be the companions
of Bong. However, only two females were found, leaving
one body, believed to be that of Jessica, missing.
Camp Wilhelm authorities at Lucena claimed that t~e
victims were underground elements of the New People s
Amy who were killed in an encounter in Mauban, Quezon
on Aug. 17. However, relatives of the victims believe this
to be untrue: all were seen around Manila days before
their disappearance. turn to page 4

-:=====::::::::::::..=--=-~~....::::::::-- ============================================================~T~'.A~N~0~1J~•~A~p~r~il~1~9~78
EDITORIAL: International SupP-ort cannot be Underestimated
:..:: .. / .."
-~~,-1\i~t~-., it-,;11\rr· · .,.,.,~ .'.tj·
Vemonstration in front of Philippine Consulate in
Francisco, protests the conviction of Aquino, Buscayno
Oftentimes, grim news of a massacre, murder or torture
account, draws a mixed reaction of anger, fear, and
helplessness among those of us who are concerned, yet too
distant from the Philippine situation. As more and more
accounts of these deplorable crimes appear in print, we
face the danger of turning numb and apathetic towards the
plight of those in most need of help. ''What can we do, the
odds are insurmountable?" is a common sentiment. But if
we simply ponder the question, "What can we do" and
seriously think of the various ways to assist, we would
already be exercising our responsibility towards our
imprisoned brothers and sisters.
The effect of international pressure on the regime
cannot be underestimated. Since the release of the
Association of Major Religious Superiors Study on
Political Prisoners (Part 1 and 2); the Amnesty International
Report (1976); the State Department Report which
confirmed the findings of the two previous studies; and the
report of the Human Rights Investigating Mission to the
Philippines; the Marcos dictatorship has been put on the
defensive. With its naked use of repression exposed
internationally, the Marcos regime could not resort to
torture with the same impunity and openess, as before. To
do so would be to invite a barrage of criticism from abroad.
The importance of exerting international pressure has
been underscored by two significant victories: the release
of Trinidad Herrera, a well known civil rights activist, and
the suspension of the death sentences meted Benigno
Aquino, Victor Corpuz and Bernabe Buscayno.
In the case of the former, letters and cables denouncing
the torture of Ms. Herrera resulted in her immediate
release. With ..- '\quino, Corpuz, and Buscayno, the torrent
of protest - demonstrations and angry letters - which
followed their conviction, forced the Marcos regime to
suspend their trial. Other prisoners have also benefited
from regular and timely assistance of foreign friends.Delia
Delica Luneta, Elena Quinto, Isabelita Guillermo, Eliseo
Telles, Jr., Dr. Roger Posadas, and Dr. Dante Simbulan,
were either released or transferred to better detention
quarters, due to the persistent efforts of sympathizers
abroad. U .S.-based organizations, such as the Friends of
the Filipino People and the Anti-Martial Law Coalition
have met much success in their efforts to raise funds for
and ventilate the plight of political prisoners.
If these groups and individuals have met some measure
of success in their efforts to check the abuses of the
Ma_rco~ military, imagine what could be done with your
active input.
While international pressure can not be underestimated,
neither can we expect miracles to result from it.
Repression is necessary to prop up a dictatorship which
does not enjoy popular support. By its very nature, the
Marcos regime cannot be expected to dispense with
repression altogether; otherwise it would collapse overnight.
But, because the regime wants international acceptance
so badly and realizes that its repressive reputation is a
drawback, it cannot use repression with such impunity as
to antagonize and shock the democratic sensibilities of
other countries. The regime's obsession with cosmetizing
its image abroad, is therefore its weakest point. For
example, in the interest of improving its image, the
regime has vowed to uphold human rights, prosecute
torturers, improve prison conditions, release political
detainees, and propel the country towards normalization.
To date, Marcos has not substantially implemented any of
these promises. Being amongst the very peoples Marcos
hopes to impress, we find ourselves in the excellent
position of putting Marcos' promises to test. For every
victim of torture, for every death and disappearance, we
can pointedly accuse Marcos before the court of world
opinion, of total disregard for human rights. And since
world opinion seems to be one of Marcos' greater fears, he
faces no choice but to bow to international pressure or risk
eroding his image even further.
Thus while we hold no illusions that the Marcos regime
would reform its repressive ways, we have a healthy
optimism that our supportive efforts abroad will blunt the
effects of repression. Actions such as letter writing and
telegram campaigns, fundraisers, pressure to end U.S.
military aid to the Marcos regime, educational forums, and
demonstrations when necessary, will go a long way
towards the abatement of repression and alleviation of the
political prisoners' plight. Past actions such as these have
been acknowledged by prisoners themselves, particularly
those detained at the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center.
By making known your concern over a torture report to
your government representatives and to the Marcos
dictatorship, you would have already contributed concretely
towards alleviating the condition of the prisoner
concerned. Your letter and those of your friends and
relatives could mean the difference between a prisoner
spending a day or a week more in a torture chamber. •

TANOD • April 1978 3
Demand for Disclosure
Sison Whereabouts Remain Unknown
The Sison 's in 1961. Juliet de LimaSison
has been charged with subversion
along with 54 others, while Jose
Ma. Sison is being held incommuicado
in an undisclosed detention center.
Despite the wide publicity accorded
the capture of Jose Ma. Sison, alleged
chairman of the Communist Party of
the Philippines,last Nov. 8, the Marcos
regime has remained silent on the
whereabouts of Sison. Virtually no
news on Sison' s condition has been reported,
although the local media continues
to brag about the crippling blows
dealt the resistance movement with
Sison' s capture.
However, unconfirmed reports that
Sison is being kept in bartolina (isolation)
and is tortured regularly, continues
to circulate. Sison was sentenced
for six days and starved for another two
following his arrest. An appeal by his
mother, Mrs. Florentina Sison to Pres.
Marcos that she be allowed to see her
son as a Christmas present, was
Meanwhile, Juliet de Lima Sison,
Jose's wife and alleged ranking member
of the CPP, was brought to trial on
March 7 along with 54 others on
charges of subversion. Ms. Sison has
entered a plea of not guilty and has
Aguinol Buscaynol Cor~uz
accused the military of denying her access
to counsel.
Staff members of Sison's who were
captured with him, Reynaldo Reynosa
and Ester Cineza, were recently released
from the bartolina section of the
Bicutan Reahbilitation Center, leaving
one, Sylvia Sales, unaccounted for.
With Sales and Sison still languishing
in bartolina and the military mum
on any information about them, the
signs look ominous. Under the dreaded
bartolina section, prisoners are separately
kept in dark and damp cubicles
and are made to sleep in crouching
positions for lack of space. They are
denied visits from their immediate
family and contact with other prisoners,
for weeks or months. Oftentimes,
their names are excluded from the
official list of persons currently detained,
to relieve the military of any
responsibility for their treatment and
Telegrams and letters demanding
humane treatment for these prisoners
and the disclosure of their whereabouts
are strongly urged.•·
Reopened Military Trial Called to Halt
Bernabe Buscayno, Victor Corpuz and Benigno Aquino hear guilty verdict and
death' sentence at Nov. 9th, 1977 hearing.
In a surprise move, the Philippine Supreme Court with lack of respect.
Supreme Court called a halt to the re- The hearings had reopened Decemopened
military trial of Senator Benig- her 5 at the Fort Bonifacio Military
no Aquino, Bernabe Buscayno and Camp to reconsider the cases of the
Victor Corpuz, December 15. The only three. These three political prisoners
explanation offered was by Chief Jus- had been sentenced to death November
tice Fred Ruiz Castro who claimed that 25 by a Marcos controlled military
the military tribunal had treated the tribunal in an act defying all legal precedent.
Responding to international
outcry, President Marcos ordered a
new military trial for Senator Aquino,
Buscayno, alleged chief of the underground
New People's Army (NPA) and
former armed forces Lieutenant Corpuz.
The defendants had challenged the
military tribunal to examine its C(jnscience
and decide if it could give them
a fair trial after having already sentenced
them to death by firing squad.
The seven member tribunal responded
by rejecting these requests that it disqualify
itself. Col. Marciano Bacalla of
the tribunal replied that the seven
members were not rehearing the case
but only receiving additional evidence
in a special procedure directed by the
President, and that the court did not
regard its previous verdict as vacated
or set aside.
The proceedings were monitored by
two foreign lawyers of the International
Commission of Jurists, San Francisco
attorney George Davis and Australian
John Dowd. Davis described the tribunal
hearings as a "farce," announced
he could not remain neutral,
and that he was returning to the U.S. to
organize a defense committee. •

4 TANOD • April 1978
Prisoner Released After 3 Months
Susan Tagle, an ex-detainee speaks
before Aug. 28, 1977 rally on Human
Rights: ''Ours is a struggle for genuine
freedom and democracy, and I'm proud
to be part of it. ''
from paget
In the same month, the strangulated
bodies of Virgilio ''Beer'' Silva and
Salvador Panganiban were found
dumped in a ravine in Tagaytay,
The August murders sent waves of
fright and indignation among activist
ranks, for it signalled the beginning of
the conscious and systematic use of
''salvaging'' as the means to eliminate
suspected subversives. ~
In the past few months, a number of
deaths at the hands of the military have
been reported from various sections of
the country which has led to the
speculation as to whether the expose of
torture in the years 197 4 to 1977 has not
led to a new trend, that of eliminaton of
detainees. This speculation is borne out
by the facts; since the declaration of
martial law, an estimated 120 persons
have disappeared or were killed while
under military custody. Of this figure,
58 deaths and disappearances have
occured in 1977 alo_ne, including the
disappearance of some 40 persons in
troubled Agusan del Sur. In almost all
of these cases, the military tried to
justify their actions by saying that
these people attempted to escape or to
fight back, hence they were shot. But
circumstances surrounding the deaths
reveal that they were killed unarmed.
The military refers to this manner of
elimination as ''salvaging.'' The verb
Continuing evidence suggests that
the arrest and harrassment of Philippine
political detainees is in fact not
achieving one of its intended results -
intimidation. In a recent letter from expolitical
detainee, University of the
Philippines student Susan Tagle, an
account of imprisonment is followed by
a committment to further political and
human rights work:
''I was arrested September 24, 1977
at about 6:00 pm at the lobby of the
University of the Philippines Arts and
Sciences Building. They had no warrant
of arrest on hand, but they insisted
upon taking me to the Security Division
(SD) Headquarters where I waited for 1
hour while they fetched the Arrest,
Search and Seizure Order from Camp
Crame . . . After the SD, I was taken to
Metrocom Intelligence Security Group
to ''salvage'' means to '' save whatever
is left,'' in its dictionary meaning. The
Philippine military however, has given
the term a new meaning.
According to reports from Mindanao
some military officials were reportedly
overheard to say "We're tired of
bringing cases to court.'' A similar
statement was reportedly made by a
high ranking military official of the II
PC Zone Command a few months ago:
'' There will be no more political detainees.''
It was in the II PC Zone a few
months ago, where Bong Sison and his
companions were killed.
What is alarming about these incidents
is that the death penalty can be
given and executed "unofficially" apart
from the normal legal processes in
a country in which the courts are
supposedly functioning.
Meanwhile, Jessica's whereabouts
remain a mystery. Some sources believe
she is being kept in a military
saf ehouse and purport that she was
seen at least four times in the company
of military men around the Greater
Manila area and as far away as
Mindoro. These sources believe Jessica
may have been spared because of the
military' s tendency not to unduly harm
prominent personalities.
A research associate at the U niversity
of the Philippines in Los Banos,
Jessica was also an active leader in the
Philippine Student Christian Moveand
turned over to them. Then I was
made to strip before a male medical
officer. I spent the night at Camp
Crame and was transferred to Bi cu tan
Rehabilitation Center the next day ...
Charges were dismissed in November.
I was not interrogated until late November.
I was questioned only once.
And then I was released on December
14 at about 11 :00 pm.
' 'I'm very proud, really, of the fact
I was a political prisoner. I guess now I
know that I've done something even
something very small, for my country.
And my detention won't stop me from
pursuing our cause, and won't scare
me off. We are in the midst of a
struggle that is too important to simply
turn my back on. Ours is a struggle for
freedom and for true democracy, and
I'm proud to be a part of it.''•
ment and represented the Philippines
in Christian conferences in Malaysia
and Hong Kong, two months before
she disappeared.
Other sources, however, confirm her
death based on the government's release
of a ' 'piece of evidence.'' A letter
ascribed to Jose Ma. Sison, alleged
Chairman of the Communist Party of
the Philippines, claims Jessica was
killed in an encounter. Many doubt the
authenticity of the letter and believe
that the military is only using Sison' s
name to lend credibility to the encounter
story. But the mere use of this hoax,
bolsters the belief that Jessica was
indeed a victim of a rubout.
Whatever the fate Jessica may have
met in the hands of the military, her
case deserves prompt investigation.
Human rights groups and concerned
individuals must not allow the Philippine's
military to get away with thelie
that Jessica was just another encounter
Protest letters and cablegrams urging
the following are strongly recommended.
1. Divulge the whereabouts of Jessica
Sales; execute a full civilian
investigation of her disappearance and
the deaths of her six companions.
2. Investigate and put an end to
''salvaging'' as a standard operating
procedure. In particular, target the II
PC Zone Command under Brig. Gen.
Alfredo Montoya for being the worst
offenders. •

TANOD • April 1978 ------·---------------------- 5
(For nearly a year, Adora Faye de Vera,
was on the missing persons list of the
Task Force on Detainees. Together
with two others, Adora was last seen at
the Philippine National Railway Station
in Tutuban, Metro Manila. After futile
inquiries by the TFD, the three were
assumed dead. At the risk of endangering
her life, Adora emerged to tell of
her experiences of torture at the hands
of the 2nd Military Intelligence Group
headed by Capt. Eduardo Sebastian -
I am Adora Faye E. de Vera, a
graduate of the Philippine Science
High School and former NSDB scholar
at the University of the Philippines,
residing at 71 Malakas Street, Pinahan,
Quezon City, 22 years old, married with
one son.
At around 11 o'clock on the evening
of October 1, 1976, at the PNR station
at Lucena City, while I was aboard a
Mayon Limited train to Bicol, I was
taken, together with two other persons,
by plainclothesmen whom I learned
later were elements of the 2MIG,
2CSU, and 231 st PC Company. I
learned later that my two companions
were Rolando Federis y Morallo and
Flora Coronacion, residents of Project
4, Quezon City and Real, Quezon,
We were dragged from the train to a
waiting ambulance which took us to an
unlighted three-door apartment somewhere
in Lucena City. Our heads were
pushed down onto the laps of the men
and our eyes covered during the trip,
so we could not tell exactly where the
apartment was located. Here, Rolando
and Flora were made to stand against
the wall and subjected to a body search
and when nothing illegal in nature was
found, we were promptly separated
into the three rooms where we were
I refused to answer any questions
and requested that I see my parents
first, because I was not yet of legal age.
I also requested that the men identify
themselves and their motives, thinking
at first that we had been kidnapped.
One of them identifed himself simply
as a peace officer and member of an
intelligence group. He promised to
notify my parents as soon as curfew is
lifted. However, they continued asking
questions and when I refused to answer,
one officer, whom I got to know
later as Captain Eduardo P. Sebastian
ordered me to strip in the presence of
more or less 20 men, while he flashed a
lamp several times on my face, preventing
my eyes from getting used to
the darkness. He threatened to subject
me to further sexual indignities if I
continued to deny their accusation.
Rolando Federis, who was in the
room next to mine, was punched
several times to reveal my alleged
subversive activities.
At around 2:00 o'clock AM on
October 2, I was allowed to dress and
the three of us were taken to a former
beer garden at the third floor of
Samurai Health Temple and Massage
Parlor at Juarez Street comer Quezon
Avenue. Here Rolando was punced,
kicked, and stabbed with a screwdriver
several times until he lost consciousness.
He was then doused with cold
water and when he recovered. He was
again punched, kicked and stab bed by
several men, among them Major Escracha,
Lt. Luis Beltran, TSgt. Florante
Macatangay, Cpl. Charlie Tolopia,
Cpl. Albert Trapal, Major Diamante,
Pfc. Alex Estores, Pfc, Pablito Pesquisa,
a certain Bong, a certain Jing
and a certain Severino. Several officers
took turns in questioning me and Maj.
Escracha pointed a gun at my temple,
threatening to shoot me if I did not
answer. I was punched thrice in the
stomach and forearm and slapped
several times by Col. Alejandro Gallido
when I denied their accusations. We
were finally allowed to sleep at 4
o'clock AM. Rolando was placed inside
a windowless room, a former storeroom
which now served as their bartolina. He
was allowed to go out only when
performing his personal necessities,
and was guarded even inside the
comfort room. All three of us were not
allowed to go near the windows or to
Rolando Fideris, 24, and a tailor, has
been missing for 17 months.
talk with each other.
During the following days, Flora was
frequently taken inside a small room
next to the bartolina, where she was
continually interrogated by Welen Escudero.
Rolando was allowed to come
near us only to wash dishes after
On October 9, at around 2 o'clock
PM, Capt. Sebatian ordered me to take
off my pants, and not to put them on
until I gave the information he wanted.
I was ordered to stand in the center of
the room, Rolando Federis, stripped
naked, was taken from the bartolina,
made to stand before me, and ordered
to masturbate. When we refused, he
was whipped several times on the
genitals with a broom (walls tingting)
while Cpl. Trapal, Cpl. Tolopia, Pfc.
Pesquisa and others laughed and
shouted obscenities at him. We were
allowed to sit down only around 5: 00
o'clock PM and forced to make a
write-up about our alleged subversive
activities. Rolando was again punched
when he refused. He was cuffed hand
and foot to a chair and not allowed to
sleep the whole night. Cpl. Trapal
constantly punched, whipped or tickled
him whenever he stopped writing.
When Capt. Sebastian arrived the
next day, he kicked Rolando several
times on the face and threatened to kill
us all if we continued to insist on our
innocence. I was ordered to enter the
room next to the bartolina where Capt.
Sebastian ordered Cpl. Trapal to undress,
preparatory to raping me. I was
also made to take off my underwear,
and threatened to be raped if I did not
give any information. According to
turn to page 6

'A Matter of Life and Death'
Capt. Sebastian, we were to be killed
anyway, they might as well exploit
while still alive. After some time, I was
ordered to stand before Rolando, and
Capt. Sebastian even said, ''Huwag mo
namang sabihing madamot ako, pinakikita
ko rin naman sa iyo." (Don't say
I'm selfish, I let you have a look, also.)
When Rolando tried to talk to me, he
was placed prone on the floor and Cpl.
Charlie Tolopia, W elen Escudero and
several other person kicked and punched
The following days, we were still not
allowed to dress. Rolando had to sleep
naked on the cold cement floor without
any beddings. Cpl. Trap al and a civilian
called Severino P. took turns in burning
my fingernails and toenails with cigaretes,
stroking my thighs and pulling the
hairs off my knees and legs.
On Oct. 13, Cpl. Charlie Tolopia and
a civilain named Rodolfo took me to the
bartolina where Cpl. Trapal and Severino
P. subjected me to sexual indignities,
touching my private parts while
uttering obscenities.
On October 14, I was raped by Capt.
Eduardo Sebastian as his method of
extracting information. Because I had
no information to give, I was abused
sexually from 12: 00 o'clock noon to past
three PM. After this, I was also made
to undress by Capt. Jesus Calaunan,
and later that evening by Lt. Joseph
Malilay. When Flora Coronacion was
finally allowed to talk with me that
evening, she confided that she had
been raped the previous days by W elen
Escudero and Florante Macatangay.
After supper, she was taken to the
small room by Pfc. Alex Estores, and
when she came out crying, she confided
again to me that she was raped.
On Octboer 16 and 17, Capt. Sebastian
threatened to rape me again, still
on the pretext of extracting information.
He challenged me to file charges
against him after I am released, "just
to see how far the government will
support the efforts of the intelligence
community." At around 8 PM,
October 17, Lt. Joseph Malilay notified
us that Rolando Federis and Flora
Coronacion were to be transferred that
evening, and he instructed them to take
just a few pieces of clothing. He then
ordered me to get into the room next to
the bartolina, so that I would not see
who would take my two companions.
That was to be left behind for further
interrogation. Also present during the
tirhe were Major Escracha, Capt. Caluanan,
and Capt. Sebastian.
On Oct. 18, Capt. Sebatian and Lt.
Malilay both tried to rape me but
stopped in the presence of other
On October 23, Lt. Malilay attempted
to rape me and when I resisted, he
hit me several times on the face, I was
sent careening across the room.
At around 2 o'clock AM, November
2, I was blindfolded and taken to
another safehouse, which I learned
later was located in Manila, at 2010
Nuestra Senora del Carmen, Guadalupe,
Makati. Here, I was again strictly
prohibited from going near the
windows, and frequently kept inside
one room, hidden from other military
personnel who were not concerned with
my case.
On November 12, Capt. Sebastian
kept pressuring me to accept my guilt
and to promise not to report anything
that happened to me, as a matter of life
and death." According to him, "Your
two companions were under military
custody. They did not escape, but now
they are missing. You know the implications.''
From the time I was apprehended,
TANOD • April 1978
all my requests for medicine during
asthmatic attacks, requests to notify
my parents, requests for legal counsel,
and to at least be transferred to a
proper detention center, were denied,
and I was again taken to their safehouse
at Samurai Health Temple,
Lucena City, on December 16, 1976.
During this whole time, Capt. Sebastian
would take liberties with me
whenever he pleased.
On March 11, 1977, I was forced to
sign a ready-made nine page sworn
statement dated November 3, 1976 at
Lucena City, subscribed by Fiscal
Escueta. Capt. Sebastian made it clear
to me that I had no other choice, as he
has said before, on November 12. I was
also made to sign other papers which
they said were requisites for my release.
I was released on June 30, 1977, but I
was not given any release papers.
I learned upon release that Task
Force Detainee has listed me as missing,
together with Rolando Federis and
Flora Coronacion, but I could not seek
help from said task force because I
feared for my life and security, knowing
very well what happened to my two
companions. During my bi-weekly reports
to Capt. Sebastian, I was constantly
threatened by the papers I
signed, although the military has always
been quick to say that there were
just ' 'reminders.''
Rolando Rd eris, age 24, and Flora
Coronacion, 18 are still missing as of
this date and indications are strong that •
they were killed. The brutal torture and
afterwards killing of persons still untried
by due process may shock our
democratic sensibilities, but what is
more striking is that everything that
happened to us was done under the full
knowledge, with express approval and
personal participation of the senior and
junior officers concerned.
In this connection, I would like to
appeal for your aid in the following
1. Render null and void, all papers I
signed, because these were signed
under duress and with false promises.
2. Prosecute the following officers
and men for acts ranging from maltreatment
and lasciviousness to rape
and murder, and all other irregularities
and illegalities connected with our
apprehension and detention.
Col. Alejandro Gallido, former group
commander, 2 MIG, ISAFP; Major
Escracha, Assistant Group Commander,
2 MIG, ISAFP; Major Diamante, 2
MIG, ISAFP; Capt. Eduardo P. Sebastian,
Team Leader of GT205, 2 MIG,
ISAFP;, Lt. Joseph Malilay, former
company commander, 231st PC Company;
Lt. Luis Beltran, 2 MIG, ISAFP;
Capt. Jesus Caluanan, 2CSU; Cpl.
turn to page 7

TANOD • April 1978 7
In mid-January 1978, at about 11:00
a.m., a religious sister was apprehended
in Marikina by two military
men and made to get into a car at gunpoint.
The car sped from Marikina
down Aurora Boulevard and finally to
an area near the Folk Arts Theatre.
During the ride, Sister was constantly
asked the names of people she had
worked with in her home province
where she had done community work
before she entered the order.
Upon arrival at the Folk Arts Center
area, the two military men threatened
to bum her if she would not cooperate
with them. They got out of the car and
opened the trunk to get the gasoline
which they said, they would douse her
with. Sister quickly turned the ignition
key and began to drive away with
the two men running after her. After
some 300 ft. or so, Sister jumped from
the car and ran toward the water
where she jumped in and swam to an
area wher she could hang onto. She
remained there for several hours until
it was dark at which time she emerged
from the water and boarded a cab and
headed for her convent.
She could have been another salvage
victim. •
Prevent iniustice
Charlie Tolopia, GT205, 2 MIG; Cpl.
Albert Trapal, GT205, 2 MIG; TSgt.
Florante Macatangay, GT205, 2 MIG;
Pfc. Pablito Pesquisa, GT205, 2 MIG;
Welen Escudero, civilian employee,
GT205; Severino P. and Rodolfo, both
of Pagbilao, Quezon; and all others
concerned with our apprehension and
3. Locate the whereabouts of Rolando
Federis and Flora Coronacion and
demand a full investigation of the
officers concerned with their custody.
4. Expose torture and liquidation as a
policy or method of operation of the 2nd
Military Intelligence Group and other
connected units, to general public
oprmon m safeguarding our human
5. Seek aid from Amnesty International
and other like international
organizations concerned with cases like
lmP-risonecl without Charges
Bicutan Rehabilitation Center is located in a remote area, outlying Manila.
Rather than await the mercy of
their captors, three political prisoners
from the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center,
staged a clever escape last Dec.
24. The three, Eugenia Magpantay,
Alfonso Abrazado and Agaton Topacio,
took advantage of the Christmas
season, when prison authorities are
relatively more lenient on prisoner
rights and privileges.
Magpantay and Topacio staged
their escape by securing Christmas
Eve passes to visit their f am iii es and
friends. Although escorted, the two
managed to elude their security
guard, and have since re-joined the
I am now with the peasant masses,
it is here where I feel my security can
be guaranteed. I wish to express my
sincere and heartfelt thanks to . . . for
their efforts in locating us, and I am
confident that this organization will
help me again. I am sure all civic and
religious organizations ever vigilant in
keeping alive our human rights and
civil liberties will be of great help in
bringing justice to our case, and
preventing similar incidents from happening
in the future.
If you would want added clarification
on my case, the peasant masses would
urban underground movement.
Abrazado on the other hand, invited
the prison guard to join him in a
drinking binge. During their drinking
session, Abrazado managed to get the
guard so inebriated, that when he
turned sober the following day, Abrazado
was nowhere to be found. A few
weeks later, Abrazado sent word to
his former prison companions, that he
has joined the peasant struggle in the
Magpantay, Topacio and Abrazado
were all victims of torture and have
spend an average of 2 to 3 years in
prison without any charges.•
be very willing to arrange a meeting. If,
however, this would be very difficult
for you, my parents, Atty. Julian de
Vera and Candida de Vera, can be of
help in giving necessary information
regarding my personal history until the
time I was under military custody and
declared missing.
I swear the everything stated in this
affidavit is the truth, the whole truth
and nothing but the truth, to the best of
my knowledge. Done on this twentysixth
day of December, in the year of
our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-
seven. •
Sgd. Adora Faye E. De Vera

8 TANOD • April 1978
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Sison, Sales, De Vera Focus of Campaign
In response to appeals of political prisoners for assistance in calling
attention to and immediate action on their grievances and demands, the
National Resource Center on Political Prisoners in the Philippines will be
launching telegram and letter writing campaigns supporting these demands.
These campaigns will be directed at Pres. Marcos and other top ranking
officials of the Marcos military. Copies of these letters will also be furnished
to the U.S. government as well as humanitarian organizations such as
Amnesty International, urging them to exert pressure on the Marcos regime
to take action on prisoner's complaints and demands.
This month, the NRCP PP will focus its campaign on the specific concerns of
Jose Ma. Sison, Sylvia Sales, Adora Faye de Vera, and Jessica Sales. We
encourage aU our readers to participate in this campaign which only amounts
to sparing a few hours of a day to write your letter.
Below is a sample letter from which you could base your draft. Participants
are also requested to furnish the center with a copy and to forward
subsequent response of the Philippine or U.S. governments.
Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos
Malacanang Palace. Manila, Philippines
Mr. President:
I am deeply disturbed by the recurrent reports of torture of political
prisoners, despite your avowals of your governments respect for human
rights. Recently, I have been informed that Jose Ma. Sison, and Sylvia Sales
are being held incommunicado at an undisclosed detention center. They have
been denied access to legal counsel and contact with their immediate and
feared to be tortured regularly.
Even worse was the treatment meted Adora Faye de Vera and Jessica
Sales. The former was a survivor of "salvaging," or in your military's
parlance, the unexplained disappearance and death of political prisoners. Her
two other companions at the time of her arrest, Rolando FidE .. is and Flora
Coronacion are feared to be dead. Jessica Sales on the other hand, who was
apprehended on August 1977, with six others, all of whom are confirmed
dead, is still missing.
In view of these deplorable crimes, I urge your office to take action on the
following demands:
1. Disclose the whereabouts of Jose Ma. Sison and Sylvia Sales; allow them
access to legal counsel and the immediate family, and insure their humane
2. Explain the whereabouts of Jessica Sales. Order a full civilian
investigation of the deaths of her six companions and the suspected murder of
Rolano Fideris and Flora Coronacion.
3. Put an end to salvaging, in particular prosecute officers of the II PC Zone
Command and the 2nd Military Intelligence Group. Prosecute all officers
involved in the torture of Adora Faye de Vera.
..._ · ·{nature
Copies of your letter should be sent to:
Defense Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile, Camp Aquinaldo, Quezon City, Philippines
Ms. Pat Derian, Office for Human Rights-Rm. 7802, U.S. Dept. of State, Washington,
Amnesty International, 53 Theobalds Rd., Loru:lon, WCIX 8 SF, United Kingdom
A ReP-ort
The new report of the 1977 Friends
of the Filipino People-Anti-Martial
Law Coalition Investigating Mission
to the Philippines, ''Human Rights
and Martial Law in the Philippines''
has assailed the facade of benign
'' constitutional authoritarianism''
promulgated by President Marcos.
The succinct report, written by members
of the mission and published by
the National Resource Center on Political
Prisoners in the Philippines sets
forth the findings of the investigation
and details current human rights
violations in the Philippines, which
incl~de among other things ''. . . the
mockery of due process and normal
legality which marked the trial of
Trinidad Herrera's torturers'', and
the frequent and systematic infliction
of torture upon political detainees,
''brutal yet sophisticated enough so
as to minimize permanent scars.''
The report corroborates the findings
of the reports of Amnesty International,
The International Commission
of Jurists and the Association of
Major Religious Superiors and goes
further as the mission members recount
their first hand exposure of a
'' saf ehouse'' - secret detention center
where torture normally takes place
I after arrest- and vividly relate their
experience at a human rights teach-in
which was brutally disrupted by water
cannons and truncheon wielding police.
The report, with an introduction by
Representative Yvonne Brathwaite
Burke [Dem.-Ca.] is available for
$1. 00 through the National Resource
Center on Political Prisoners in the
Philippines. •
Write to the NRCPPP indicating the following:
P .0. Box 27118
Oakland, CA 94602
Bulk Rate
U.S. Postage
Permit No. 3383
Oakland, Ca.
Address ------------------
( Check boxes)
□ I would like to receive T ANOD and your other
publications regularly.
□ I would like to join your letter writing campaign.
□ I would like to donate to the Political Prisoners

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Date Added
April 16, 2021
Fenkell Family collection
Item Type
Anti-Martial Law Coalition, “Tanod Publication & Logo,” Welga Archive - Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, accessed May 8, 2021, https://welgadigitalarchive.omeka.net/items/show/755.