Torture victim Raymond Manalo identified one of his captors, a military officer, in court during the continuation of the Cadapan-Empeño hearings at the Court of Appeals in Manila, Jan 18.
BY DABET CASTAÑEDA
Vol. VII, No. 49, January 20-26, 2008
Torture victim Raymond Manalo identified one of his captors during the continuation of the Cadapan-Empeño hearings at the Court of Appeals in Manila, Jan 18.
Manalo took the witness stand for the second time to testify that he had been in detention together with the two missing University of the Philippines (UP) students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño and farmer Manuel Marino who were abducted June 26, 2007 in the province of Bulacan.
The writ of amparo filed by the parents of Cadapan and Empeño has made headway as Manalo identified one of their captors in open court.
In his first testimony in December, Manalo said he, together with his brother Reynaldo, was abducted on Feb. 14 and was secretly detained in several military camps in Central Luzon. He also said he had talked to Cadapan several times during detention and the UP student had told him she had been raped by soldiers.
Manalo started his testimony with an apology to the appellate court for appearing to be annoyed with the cross examination of Assistant Solicitor General Amparo Tang when he testified for the first time. He explained that he was traumatized then because of the presence of one of his captors.
Prosecution lawyer Rex Fernandez then asked Manalo if the latter’s captor was present during the hearing yesterday. When Manalo answered in the affirmative, Fernandez asked the witness to identify his captor.
Manalo then pointed to a burly man in black shirt. The court then asked the man to identify himself. Looking surprised, the man blurted out, “E pano ako di makikilala nyan eh ako ang kumander ng 24th IB sa Balanga. Syempre nakita nya ako dun.” (How would he not know me when I am the commander of the 24th IB in Balanga. Of course he saw me there.)
The man identified himself later as Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, commanding officer of the 24th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IB PA) based in Barangay (village) Camacho, Balanga, Bataan. Anotado is one of the respondents to the Cadapan- Empeño case.
Manalo also told the court he had seen Anotado thrice during his detention and had actually talked to him and the two missing UP students when they were brought to the army headquarters in Bataan.
After the hearing, this reporter briefly interviewed Anotado who denied he had seen and talked to Manalo and the two UP students. “Sa mata ng Diyos, hindi ko s’ya kilala, hindi ko s’ya nakita,” (Before the eyes of God, I do not know him and have not seen him before.) Anotado said.
After giving this statement, Anotado was told to keep silent and was led outside the court by his escorts.
The court scheduled five hearing days until March to hear the testimony of witnesses of the defense. (Bulatlat.com)