Journalist in 'mistaken identity' arrest files rap vs police, military

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2019 06:58 PM

MANILA - A Davao-based journalist on Thursday filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against police and military officials involved in her "mistaken" arrest and detention last June 9.

Fidelina Margarita Valle recalled in her complaint-affidavit her 12-hour ordeal from the time she was arrested in Laguindingan Airport, Misamis Oriental to her detention in Iligan City and Pagadian City.

She accused police and military officials of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, arbitrary detention, violation of the Anti-Torture Act, gross misconduct, grave abuse of authority, and conduct unbecoming of a public official.

Valle included Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde and PNP Spokesman Col. Bernard Banac in her affidavit.

She also named high-ranking officials of the Philippine Army, including 102nd Brigade Commanding Officer Brig. Gen. Jacinto Bareng and 53rd Infantry Battalion Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Marlowe Patria.

“It cannot be denied that respondents Bareng, Patria, Banac, and Albayalde are the superiors of those involved in my torture and that they knew or had reason to know that I was about to be or had been tortured,” the journalist said.

"They failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the criminal acts or punish the perpetrators thereof," she added.

She later earned she was arrested because of a standing warrant for an Elsa Renton, a suspected communist rebel.

“This caused me distress, anxiety, and fear for I don’t know this Elsa Renton and it seemed to me that they were really out to convict me,” Valle said.

Included also in the complaints were PCol. Tom Yuzon, PCol. Redentor Lantaca Retusto, PCol. John Guyguyon, Chief Supt. Modhin Panturan, PLt. Col. Mardito Anguluan, PCapt. Moh Madzdie-Aziz Mukaram, and Sr.Supt. Michael Pareha.

Valle revealed that during her detention, she was forced to wear an orange shirt printed with “CIDG Detainee.” Her cellphone was also confiscated.

The columnist said she was unable to eat when she was offered food by the arresting officers.

“Indeed, the said respondents...tortured me mentally and psychologically for more than 12 hours when they held me captive,” Valle said.

Valle requested the Office of the Ombudsman to put the respondents under preventive suspension. - Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News