Part 3 of 5
MEDIA RELEASE – 1 July 2010
Ref: Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson (0917-561-6800)
CA hears writ of amparo petition of Filipino interpreter
Karapatan calls for Philippine government to look into cases involving U.S. troops, too!
As the nation goes back to its routine life under the 15th President, the human rights alliance Karapatan joins other organizations and victims of human rights violations in urging the government to properly investigate the death of the Filipino interpreter Gregan Cardeño at today’s hearing of the petition for the writ of amparo at the Court of Appeals.
The 33 year-old Gregan Cardeño, died under mysterious circumstances on February 2 in the barracks of the US forces, barely two days after being hired as an interpreter for US troops under the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF)-Balikatan. The US troops’ barracks is situated in Camp Ranao, Datu Saber, Marawi City, home of the 103rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army. The Philippine National Police of Marawi immediately concluded that Cardeño committed suicide by hanging himself, echoing what the US troops told the police when the latter reported the death.
The killing of a close family friend aiding in the investigation, WESMINCOM Military Police Commander Maj. Ignacio Javier, who was gunned down the day the Commission on Human Rights conducted a re-autopsy on Gregan’s remains on March 25, made the Cardeño family even more fearful of their safety.
Cardeño’s family filed for the petition for the writ of amparo on April 27 at the Supreme Court that was granted on June 22. The petition prayed for protection of the family members who have been receiving threats since the incident, inspection of the barracks where Cardeño’s body was found and production of all documents and evidences pertaining to the Cardeño’s and Javier’s death, in court.
“Ang sinumang nagkamali ay kailangang humarap sa hustisya. Hindi maaaring patuloy ang kalakaran ng walang pananagutan at tuloy na pang-aapi,’ (Anyone who has done wrong must face justice. Impunity and continuous oppression must not be allowed to go on.) We hope that this declaration includes the American troops in the country,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan Chairperson enthuses as she quotes from President Noynoy’s speech yesterday. “Gregan’s family deserves and has every right to know how he died and we support them in this endeavor. The American troops’ seeming cover-up of the case, in connivance with the Philippine state security forces, when asked of the circumstances of Gregan’s death, and their silence, do not offer any clarity on the tormented family members. Thus, we hope that under President Noynoy, cases involving US troops will be meticulously examined by our Courts and other investigative agencies,” Enriquez adds.
Enriquez also expressed hope that the magistrates of the CA will not let themselves be pressured by the Philippine or American soldiers or the VFA Commission, and allow truth and justice to prevail in this case. “We call on our government to address this incident, as this involves death of a Filipino citizen under the employ of U.S. forces, inside the barracks of the foreign troops and within a Philippine military camp. We hope that this will not go like the previous cases involving US troops,” concluded Enriquez. ###