CPP denounces cover-up of Melissa Roxas torture by Philippine military

CHR report on Roxas torture favors Palparan and torturers of 7th ID — CPP

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounced the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for covering up the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) responsibility for the abduction and torture in 2009 of Fil-Am activist Melissa Roxas and her two companions, and implying that the crime was carried out by the New People's Army (NPA). The CPP flatly dismissed claims by the military and the CHR that the NPA is responsible for their illegal arrest and torture.

The CHR has done "a big favor to Gen. Jovito Palparan, who commanded the 7th ID from 2005 to 2008 and led it on a rampage of human rights abuses in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales," said the CPP. "Ms. Roxas was arrested and subjected to torture by the very people who carried out the arrest and torture of scores of other victims."

Although no longer in command of the 7th ID at that time, Palparan had left behind a legacy of extrajudicial killings, involuntary disappearance, torture and other forms of terror that his successors have zealously continued. Palparan who became a partylist representative in Congress along with his fellow rabid anti-communist Pastor "Jun" Alcover ironically sought to undermine Roxas' credibility by accusing her of being an NPA member herself during a congressional hearing on Roxas' abduction and torture.

Melissa Roxas was illegally arrested together with John Edward Jandoc and Juanito Carabeo in La Paz, Tarlac on 19 May 2009, and subjected to physical torture for six days in a military camp.

Among the other victims of the 7th ID are brothers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo, UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlynn Cadapan, peasant organizer Jonas Burgos, and union leader Rogelio Concepcion. With the exception of the Manalo brothers who were able to escape after undergoing
unimaginable torture, the rest remain missing to this day.

The CPP said "the CHR completely ignored the glaring fact that Ms. Roxas and her companions were subjected to the type of torture routine that was being perpetrated by the forces of the 7th ID against people it accused of being members or supporters of the New People's Army (NPA)."

"The 7th ID built a dungeon within Fort Magsaysay that served as a torture chamber where they carried out water boarding, electrocution and other forms of physical abuse against its detainees. Detainees were denied sleep and subjected to various forms of mental torture. Many were eventually executed and their remains thereafter burned."

"The CHR has done Melissa Roxas and her companions a grave injustice," said the CPP. "Showing very little sympathy for her plight, it proceeded to insult the Filipino people by supporting the military's claim that the detention and torture of Roxas was 'possibly' carried out by the NPA, even if this was based on unnamed sources deemed 'credible' by the CHR."