Skip to main content

‘Morong 5’ to testify for military

Being comrades apparently has its limits.

Five members of the so-called “Morong 43” are willing to testify against their former comrades who have accused the military of torture when they were arrested as communist rebels two years ago in a private resort in Morong, Rizal.

Ellen Carandang said she and the four others who have swung over to the government side were willing to testify that they were not tortured in case of a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation.

The “Morong 5” have confessed to being New People’s Army (NPA) members and chosen to stay in Camp Capinpin as rebel returnees. The camp is the headquarters of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division.

“I want to tell our former comrades that we are ready to testify against them, to tell the truth,” Carandang, speaking in Filipino, told reporters in Camp Capinpin on Saturday.
“You can say that some are legitimate (medical practitioners), but they help the NPA,” she added.

“Their claim that there was torture, that’s not true,” said Jenilyn Pizarro, who last year married a soldier she had met in the camp. She was then 19.

Carandang, Pizarro and Valentino Paulino faced reporters in the presence of Maj. Gen. Eduardo Del Rosario, the 2nd Infantry Division commander. Two other members of their group—Cherilyn Tawagon and John Mark Barrientos—did not show up.

No torture

Last week, a lawyer for eight other members of the “Morong 43” filed a case of torture at the DOJ against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, two former military chiefs and 16 other security personnel. The eight claimed they were tortured while detained at Camp Capinpin.

Del Rosario said that since Carandang and the four others were not tortured, it would follow that the others also were not tortured.

“The five told the truth,” Del Rosario said. “They are members of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines). They were conducting a seminar on how to give first aid in case someone is wounded in an encounter.”

Carandang claimed one of the eight complainants, whom she said is a doctor, taught emergency surgery very well. She also said the owner of the resort where they held the seminar did not know about what the group was doing.

Military claim

Carandang, Pizarro and Paulino said they were all being treated well in the camp. “No good would have come out if we had continued to stay in the mountains. We would only have further neglected our families,” Carandang said.

Her husband has stayed behind with the NPA with one of their children. They have had no communication for a year, she said.

The Morong 43 were health workers arrested in the military raid on  Feb. 6, 2010. The military claimed they were NPA cadres training in making bombs.

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the charges against them withdrawn. They were freed before Christmas that year. Six of them later sued Arroyo for damages.

On Thursday, eight members of the group also accused Arroyo and 18 others, including military and police officers, of torture.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments

More Philippine Defense News

AFP Modernization 2017: Highlights and Review

The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was on a roll this year, as we've seen a few big ticket items having completely delivered this year. Game changers as they say, these new assets have proven their capabilities both in combat and humanitarian missions.

Here's a brief on everything what we know about the AFP modernization this 2017.

Philippine Air Force  FA-50PH


The final batch of the FA-50PH Lead-In Fighter Trainers have been successfully delivered by the Korean Aerospace Industries last May. The last batch of 2 arrived on May 31st at Clark Air Base. The contract consist of 12 FA-50's at the price of Php 18.9 billion. AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla mentioned on a March 23 article in Inquirer that there are plans to purchase 6 more additional FA-50's if the funding allows it and if the performance is good.

FA-50PH Weapons - AIM-9 Air-to-air Missiles
Aside from the aircraft itself the Department of National Defense also ordered AIM-9

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

2 deliveries in 2018 to beef up Philippine Navy's capability

Two more platforms which will help boost the Philippine Navy (PN)'s capabilities to defend the country's vast maritime domains are expected to be delivered this 2018. This was bared by Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong when sought for an update on other deliverable items for the PN this year.
3 MPAC mk3's with Spike ER System This has been discussed already in the AFP Modernization 2017 Highlights article.  

First among the deliverables is the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd's Spike ER (extended range) missile systems which will be fitted on three of the Navy's brand-new multi-purpose assault craft (MPAC) which was activated last May 22.

The weapons are on anti-ship mode meaning it can engage surface vessel targets and is capable of penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and has a maximum range of five miles. And while not giving the exact dates for the delivery of the missiles and its platforms for security purpose, Andolong said the…