PHILIPPINES: Police’ vehicle used in forcibly abducting a man in General Santos City


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-198-2007
ISSUES: Enforced disappearances and abductions, Judicial system, Legislation, Rule of law, Victims assistance & protection,

Dear friends,

The AHRC writes with deep concern regarding the forcible abduction and subsequent disappearance of a man, Arnold Aliman, in General Santos City on 27 May 2007. Witnesses have revealed that the vehicle used by the abductors, who were armed, has been traced to the local police Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB). The whereabouts of the victim remain unknown and no credible investigation have been taken so far into the possible police’ involvement in the abduction.


According to various sources, including a local newspaper, the Sun Star, victim Arnold Aliman (a.k.a. Dodong), was driving his motorcycle at around 5:30pm along Pedro Acharon Boulevard in General Santos City, on his way home on 27 May 2007 when he was forcibly abducted. He was supposed to return home after sending his girlfriend off at Saging Street, Barangay (village) Dadiangas South, of the same city. The victim is a resident of the city’s Purok (a subsection of the village) Veterans Village.

While Aliman was stopped at an intersection, waiting for traffic light to turn green, a white pick-up vehicle stopped beside him. Three men from the vehicle alighted and forcibly dragged him inside their vehicle. When they were not able to subdue the victim due to his resistance, another three persons alighted and forced him inside. One of the abductors also took over the victim’s motorcycle, with license plate number IV 3878.

One of the witnesses recounted that as the incident was taking place, the police officers at a police outpost situated just few meters did not intervene, despite the victim’s loud cries for help. Passersby and bystanders likewise ignored his plea. It is also learned that some of those who witnessed the abduction were activists, but they were too frightened to intervene because the abductors are armed and they too had been facing serious threats on their lives. The place where the abduction took place is usually a crowded and busy street, but the abductors were allowed to escape without hindrance or pursuit.

Soon after the victim’s abduction, some of witnesses went to a local police station, Pendatun Police Station, and later to the General Santos City Police Office’ (GSCPO) headquarters in Camp Fermin G. Lira. Surprisingly, a witness recognized the vehicle used by the abductors parked beside one of the headquarters’ office, the Intelligence and Detective Management Section (IDMS), which was formerly Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB).

Even though the testimonies of the witnesses could have help in locating the victim and identifying the abductors, no credible investigation has so far been taken as to why the vehicle used in abducting the victims was found inside the police headquarters. What the head of the GSCPO, Senior Superintendent Vicente Bautista, has done so far is to order the relief of the chief of the IDMS, Senior Inspector Maximo Sebastian, from his post. It was at Sebastian’s office that the vehicle was parked. But, amazingly, no investigation has been conducted to compel him or his men to explain the matter. The police leadership has even refused to admit that the relief order was due to the incident.


The abduction and subsequent disappearance of Arnold Aliman took place prior to the abduction of a political activist, Gilbert Rey Cadino (a.k.a Jing) on June 6. Unlike Cardino, who was released two days later by his captors, Aliman’s family had difficulty locating him. For further details please see: UA-185-2007. There is also no existing mechanism in place as to how the authorities would assist and help disappeared victim’s families to locate their loved ones.

Prior to his abduction, Aliman had served his jail term at the General Santos City Reformatory Center (GSCRC) for nine years for kidnapping charges. He had just been released in July last year.

Aliman’s abduction followed to abduction and subsequent disappearance that have previously taken place in the city. The couple, Nelly Intice (45) and her husband Federico (52), and another companion have remained missing after they were believed to have been abducted in 25 October 2006. The couple is both political and human rights activists. They were last seen heading towards the city’s bus terminal on their way home to nearby Davao City. Please see for further details: UA-380-2006.

Please send letters to the authorities below requesting their effective intervention in locating the victim’s whereabouts. A credible investigation must also be conducted on the police’ possible involvement into the victim’s abduction. Please also request for an effective security and protection mechanism for the witnesses and the victim’s families without delay.

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Dear _________,

PHILIPPINES: Police’ vehicle used in forcibly abducting a man in General Santos City

Name of disappeared victim: Arnold Aliman (a.k.a. Dodong), a businessman
Alleged perpetrators: Six men believed to have links with the police
Place of incident: At an intersection in Pedro Acharon Boulevard and Magsaysay Avenue, General Santos City
Date of incident: At around 5:30pm on 27 May 2007

I am writing to express my deep concern into the forcible abduction and subsequent disappearance of a man, Arnold Aliman, on 27 May 2007 in General Santos City. I have learned that six unidentified men, who are carrying firearms, in a crowded traffic intersection, forcibly abducted Aliman. One of them took over in driving the victim’s motorcycle soon after they forced him inside their vehicle.

What is shocking in this case, according to the information I have received, is that the vehicle used in forcibly abducting the victim was later traced to the police, which was even parked inside the headquarters office of General Santos City Police Office (GSCPO). It was reported to have been parked at the Intelligence and Detective Management Section (IDMS) of GSCPO soon after the incident. Those who witnessed the abduction also confirmed this.

I have learned, however, that despite serious allegations of the possible police’ involvement, as a result of the vehicle being traced to its headquarters, there has not been credible and independent investigation being made to look into this. While I appreciate the relief of the IDMS chief, Senior Inspector Maximo Sebastian, from his post, there is no known investigation conducted on him of his men. It is also disappointing that the investigation being conducted into the victim’s disappearance so far does not include them. The gravity of allegations I strongly believe should have merits an investigation of these policemen.

Furthermore, following the incident, I am disappointed that there has not been substantial progress in locating the victim’s whereabouts. I am also not aware of any mechanism created by the concerned authorities in place to locate the victim, in particular of involving his family into this process. I have also not heard of any security and protection arrangement afforded to the victim’s family and to witnesses of the abduction, which I believe, should have been urgently provided. I am deeply concerned that unless this requirement is meeting, there cannot be substantial progress to any effort to locate the victim’s whereabouts.

I am aware that this abduction is the latest to have occurred in the city and nearby area. As you are aware, the couple, Nelly Intice (45) and her husband Federico, and another companion were also reported abducted in October 2006. They whereabouts have remained unknown and they are still missing until now. They were last seen heading at a bus terminal when they disappeared. On June 6, political activist Gilbert Rey Cadino was also abducted but was later released in nearby Koronadal City. No substantial investigation has likewise taken place to identify his abductors.

I am deeply concerned of these incidents of forcible abduction and subsequent disappearance taking place in the city and nearby, and the lack of effective remedies for the victim’s families to locate their loved ones. I therefore urge you to use your authority to ensure that this is adequately addressed without delay. The government’s negligible action into these alarming cases is inexcusable.

Yours sincerely,



1. Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

2. Dr. Purificacion Quisumbing
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
Fax: +63 2 929 0102

3. Director General Oscar Calderon
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City
Tel: +63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Fax: +63 2724 8763

4. Mr. Raul Gonzalez
Department of Justice
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
Fax: +63 2 521 1614

5. Mr. Emilio Gonzalez
Deputy Ombudsman
Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military
and Other Law Enforcement Offices
3rd Floor, Ombudsman Bldg., Agham Road, Diliman
1104 Quezon City
Tel: +632 926 9032
Fax: +63 2 926 8747

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (