Fil-Am activist abducted indeed, says CA


Posted at Aug 27 2009 01:06 PM | Updated as of Aug 28 2009 12:32 AM

MANILA - Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Thursday hailed the Court of Appeals (CA) decision partially granting the request for protection of Filipino-American activist Melissa Roxas.

"The [Bayan] welcomes the positive findings and decisions of the Court of Appeals in relation to the petition for a writ of amparo by our colleague Melissa Roxas," the group said in a statement.

The group cited the appellate court's declaration that Roxas was "indeed, abducted" and that torture marks on her body were not self-inflicted, as claimed by the military.

"We believe that this is the most important aspect of the decision," Bayan said, adding that the ruling proves Roxas did not lie about her ordeal.

In its 33-page decision, the court said in its decision: "We have carefully reviewed the evidence on record and came to the conclusion that [Roxas] was, indeed, abducted."

"As former Regional Trial Court Judges, we have had extensive experiences with perjurers and prevaricators falsely testifying in our courts. However, in this case, we are not prepared to accept the insinuation that the physical injuries sustained by the Petitioner were self-inflicted," the decision said.

The appellate court also ordered the military to stop distributing documents or records pertaining to Roxas' alleged ties with the communist movement. It was referring to a video footage released by two party-list lawmakers, including former military general Jovito Palparan, which shows a woman who looks like Roxas training with alleged Communist rebels.

The court also told the military to protect Roxas and her family from all forms of harassment, intimidation and coercion while in the Philippines.

Roxas was abducted last May 19 and was released by her abductors a week after. She claims military men abducted and tortured her.

The military denied Roxas' allegation, saying the abduction could have been "stage-managed."