CHR probes arrest of community doctor Naty Castro

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2022 09:28 AM | Updated as of Feb 21 2022 09:47 AM

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MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights is continuously monitoring the situation of detained community doctor Maria Natividad Castro following her arrest for alleged kidnapping, its chairperson said Monday.

The commission is looking into whether police procedures were properly followed during Castro's arrest, said Leah Armamento.

"There's allegation that some (policemen) were not in uniform, they weren’t properly identified and the force employed is more than what is required. We’re looking into this, whether the arresting officers followed the rule of procedure," she told ANC's Headstart.

"We can file charges, administrative or criminal, against erring police officers."

The police captured the 53-year-old doctor in San Juan City last Friday over charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in the Caraga region. Castro was a secretary general of rights group Karapatan in the region.

The CHR was able to locate the doctor last Saturday and accompanied her and her family when they flew to Butuan City, Armamento said.

"The CHR is continuously monitoring so that no harm or violation of human rights is being committed. If she needs lawyers, the CHR also provides legal assistance," she said.

The doctor is currently being represented by the Free Legal Assistance Group, she added.

Castro was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of a member of the Philippine Army's Civilian Active Auxiliary last Dec. 29, 2018, according to Caraga police chief Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr.

She is known as a health worker in Mindanao where she helped put up community health centers and taught human rights.