PHILIPPINES: Fisherman tortured by police in Cebu

Dear Friends

We are forwarding you an appeal from the highly respected Task Force Deteinees of the Philippines, regarding the torture of a fisherman in Cebu by the police of that region. Please read the short account of the incident and take the action requested.

Urgent Appeals Desk



TITLE : Alfredo Bantecil Torture

VICTIM : Alfredo Bantecil, 26 yrs. old, male, fisherman, married and a resident of Sityo Day-as, Brgy. Calomboyan, Sogod, Cebu, Philippines

DATE OF INCIDENT: September 18, 2001

PLACE OF INCIDENT: Sityo Day-as, Brgy. Calomboyan, Sogod, Cebu, Philippines

PERPETRATORS : PO1 Pedro Azarcon and PO1 Dandan Villardar, both are members of the Philippine National Police based Sogod, Cebu, Philippines


Account of the incident:

A fisherman was arrested and tortured by the members of the Philippine National Police last September 18, 2001 in Brgy. Calomboyan, Sogod, Cebu. The victim was suspected as a supporter of the New People’s Army.

Alfredo Bantecil, the victim, had reportedly quarreled with his neighbor, Rosalio Dehito. Dehito had borrowed the victim’s fishing gear but when the foresaid returned it, the borrowed gear was damaged. Bantecil got angry and had a heated argument with Dehito. Somehow, Simpling Dehito (Rosalio’s wife) reported the incident to the police. But the latter told the authorities that Bantecil is a rebel supporter and owns a fragmentation grenade.

Two police officers, PO1 Pedro Azarcon and PO1 Dandan Villardar, immediately went to Alfredo Bantecil’s house at about 7:00 p.m.

Bantecil said that he was standing outside their house and was putting to sleep his three year old son, when the police officers arrived. PO1 Azarcon then ordered him to put his son on the ground because they are going to talk with him. As soon as he put Eury on the ground, he was immediately handcuffed by the policemen. The perpetrators then struck his face using the butt of an M-16 rifle. The officers then questioned him about his alleged involvement with the New People’s Army. When he denied their allegations, one of them fired his weapon on the ground, aiming it near the victim’s feet. When Marilou Bantecil, Alfredo’s wife, tried to intervene the policemen threatened to kill her husband if she approached them. The policemen then proceeded to torture the victim (he was struck in the different parts of his body using the butt of the M-16 rifle every time he denied their allegations). Marilou claimed that Azarcon and Villardar fired their weapons in the air thirteen times causing panic among their neighbors.

The officers then dragged the victim to their car and brought him to the police station. During the interrogation, the police investigator found no evidence to support the charges against the victim. Bantecil was immediately released and no charges were filed against him.

Bantecil alleged that Azarcon and Villardar were drunk during the incident.

Gaudioso Mahusay, the victim’s father-in-law, claims that Bantecil’s right eye looks like a rotten star apple. The victim had a hard time walking because his right toe had been hammered, by the perpetrators, using their rifles. As of this writing, the foresaid was not able to go fishing due to his bruises. Alfedo Bantecil asserted that he is not a member/supporter of the New People’s Army.

The latter feared that the suspects might harm him after the incident was exposed to the media.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Send letters,e-mails or fax

1. Expressing grave concern to the plight of Alfredo Bantecil. Ask the government to ensure the safety of the victim, his family and the witnesses.

2. Provide free medical assistance and psycho-social rehabilitation to the victim.

3. Urge the government to investigate the atrocities perpetrated by PO1 Pedro Azarcon and PO1 Dandan Villardar, and place them under camp restriction during the investigation.

4. Tell the Arroyo government to give human rights trainings to policemen and soldiers, especially those who are assigned in counter-insurgency operations in the provinces.


1. Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo President, Republic of the Philippines New Executive Bldg. Malacanang Palace Compound J.P. Laurel St. San Miguel, Manila, philippines

Cell # (+63) 919 898 4622, (+63) 917 839 8462


Fax: (+63 2) 929 3968

2. Hon. Pablo Garcia Governor, Province of Cebu Provincial Capitol Osmena Blvd., Cebu City, Philippines

Fax: (+63 32) 255 0642

3. Atty. Alejandro Alonso Commission on Human Rights Region VII Rosal corner Llorente St. Capitol Site, Cebu City, Philippines

Fax: (+63 32) 254 6921


Prepared by:

Rico Nunez Task Force Detainees of the Philippines

Central/Eastern Visayas Region

747 Pacubas Drive

Mambaling, Cebu City, Philippines


Cell # (+63) 919 324 2666

Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-13-2001
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Police violence, Torture,