AFP-PNP arrest and torture activist

AN activist from Metro Manila was arrested and tortured by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) over what human rights group Karapatan said are false charges.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Metro Manila campaign officer Ferdinand Castillo, 57, was arrested last February 12 in Sta. Quiteria, Caloocan by elements of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the Intelligence Service Group of the Philippine and the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) for charges of murder and attempted murder.

The composite arresting team reportedly presented to Castillo an arrest warrant issued by the Branch 63 of the Regional Trial Court in Calauag, Quezon.

In an alert, Karapatan said that Castillo was handcuffed and blindfolded for four hours, brought to a safe house and interrogated by ISAFP personnel before being brought to the PNP-CIDG office at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Castillo was brought to the Caloocan City prosecutor’s office this afternoon presumably for inquest proceedings.

Meanwhile, Bayan NCR members staged picket protests at the Caloocan prosecutors office and at Camp Crame to denounce what they call the “criminilization” of activists and development workers following the Rodrigo Duterte government’s announcement of an all out war against the Left.

The groups maintain that the charges against Castillo, who has rheumatic heart disease and hypertension and has suffered two strokes since his arrest, are false.

The groups called for Castillo’s immediate release and the end to filing false charges against activists.

Castillo is receiving legal assistance from Bayan, Karapatan, and the National Union of People’s Lawyers. (Report by Abril Layad B. Ayroso/Featured composite image by Kathy Yamzon/Bayan NCR)