Capulong lauded the efforts of the CHR in finding out the truth and called on the commission to look into the maltreatment of detainees. “They [military] are doing everything to make the detainees suffer,” he said.
He said the detainees and their families were being threatened and that they were being told to “return to the fold of law.”
Evelyn Montes, wife of Dr. Alex Montes, one of the 43, narrated how her husband was interrogated one night. “Someone who introduced himself as a former colleague of Trillanes visited him in his cell. The man was insisting that he should surrender. My husband said, ‘Why should I surrender? I did nothing wrong.’”
Antonio Trillanes IV led the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 as a protest to the rampant corruption in government.
De Lima said that during their last visit, only Montes told them that he was physically tortured. “He told us that he felt that he was subjected to electric shock and that he smelled a gas-like substance. The others said they only endured psychological torture.”
“The CHR doctor saw injuries on the wrists and at the area of the eyes maybe due to the tight blindfold… I don’t know if the detainees are telling us everything,” said de Lima. “But it does not rule out torture because there are methods of torture that are untraceable,” she added.
“Maybe it’s a factor why they are still being held at a military camp. If they would be transferred, maybe they would talk to us more freely.”
Evelyn said her husband also asked for a doctor but was ignored twice. “The military said they would send a doctor to see the detainees but no action was taken.”
Dr. Julie Caguiat of the Community Medicine and Development Foundation (Commed) also said that the medical needs of the detainees are not being met. She said that during their last visit on Feb. 11, they endorsed patients to be monitored. “There are those who suffer from hypertension and diabetes but they are not being given proper medical care.”
Caguiat said they have been requesting that they be allowed visit the detainees again but were denied nine times. “We even wrote to Major Gen. Jorge Segovia but were always given the runaround.” Segovia is the commanding officer of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.
Capulong also complained of the overly tight security measures being imposed by the AFP during visits, to which de Lima concurred. “They always reason out that they need to process the visitors. But they should not make it hard for the visitors to see their loved ones,” de Lima said.