MANILA - Human rights group Karapatan has called on authorities to “surface” the stay-in gardener of top Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) officials Benito and Wilma Tiamzon who has gone missing for 22 days.
In a statement, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said: “We call on the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to SURFACE Gary Aguilar Santos.”
Santos is the stay-in gardener at the house where Tiamzons and other colleagues were staying before their March 22 arrest.
Santos, 48 years old, was hired as a gardener by Rex and Lorraine Villaflor, the couple who leased the house to the Tiamzons.
According to Lorraine, her last communication with Santos was on March 22 at around 4:00 p.m., a few hours after their arrest.
Palabay said they tried contacting Santos, but failed.
Karapatan-Central Visayas inquired at the PNP-San Fernando about the results of their search at the rented house. The group also went to the house in Sitio Boloc-boloc, where one of the caretakers reported no one was seen inside the house since March 22.
Karapatan-Cebu also contacted on April 1 the police, who said they don’t have Santos.
“Tiamzon, Austria and the Villaflor couple are deeply concerned with Gary's fate. Santos might be tortured for tactical interrogation, which the AFP and PNP are notorious for,” said Palabay.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines considers Benito Tiamzon as the “center of gravity” of the CPP-NPA and its political wing, National Democratic Front (NDF), here in the Philippines.
Wilma, on the other hand, is the secretary-general.
Both are currently detained in Camp Crame.