Community doctor Naty Castro flown to Agusan del Sur

Doctor Naty Castro talks with her visitors inside the police headquarters in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur. (Photo from Darby Santiago’s Facebook account)

MANILA – Relatives of Dr. Natividad Castro found her in a police headquarters in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur on Feb. 19, the Free Legal Assistance Group said in a statement.

Castro’s relatives have been prodding the police about Castro’s whereabouts when she was arrested in her home in San Juan City on Friday, Feb. 18. They were given the runaround until Castro was flown from Manila to Agusan del Sur without the knowledge of her lawyers and relatives.

Authorities claimed that Castro is a member of the underground group and was involved in a crime in Agusan.

According to FLAG, records of the case are still not available because courts are closed until Monday. They said they, as well as Castro, “are still unaware of the exact circumstances of the case that has been allegedly been filed against her and the reason for her arrest.”

The lawyers’ group said they “will pursue all available remedies to secure Doc Naty’s freedom or the immediate dismissal of the case against her.”

“Doc Naty also reserves all her rights to pursue legal remedies against those police officers who violates her rights with impunity and went against established procedure when they took her from her home in San Juan on Feb. 18., denied her access to counsel and family. And transported her without notifying any familiar member or counsel,” the group said.

They added legal remedies will also be pursued against those who have red-tagged and continue to red-tag Castro.

Different organizations also expressed their concern over the arrest of the doctor including the University of the Philippines Manila.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights dispatched a quick response team from Manila and Caraga and is now looking into the reports of possible violations of the Philippine National Police’s rules and procedure, among others.

“In ensuring the protection of the rights of the Dra. Naty, CHR is coordinating with local authorities and is in close contact with the Castro family to assist them in Dra. Naty’s safety while in custody,” the CHR said in a statement. (RVO) (

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