By Reynard Magtoto
SANGAY, Camarines Sur --- A family belonging to an indigenous tribe here has filed a Writ of Amparo on July 26 against the alleged illegal arrest and detention of their son by personnel of the 83rd Battalion of 9th Infantry Division of Philippine Army.
Antonio Alvarez, an aeta, was arrested and kept in detention after the government troopers, led by a certain 2nd Lt. Coram, accused Antonio as an NPA member in the course of the Army troopers’ alleged combat operation last July 19.
Capt. Randy Llunar, 9th ID Division Public Affairs Office chief, admitted over the radio that the 83rd Battalion had placed Antonio under detention. The Army officer in that same interview promised to eventually turn over the detainee to the PNP but until now Antonio’s family members have yet to see him personally.
On July 23 at around 12:00 midnight, the uniformed troops went to the house of the Narvaez family with Antonio. Instead of releasing the victim, however, the troopers allegedly harassed Antonio’s family and confiscated their cellphones.
Until now, Antonio is believed held in detention at the military camp of the 83rd Battalion in Mabalod-balod, Tigaon. There are reports that Antonio is being used in military operations of the AFP.
The San Jose Regional Trial Court in Partido area, Camarines Sur has released an order summoning Antonio to appear before the court last Tuesday, August 1, by virtue of the Writ of Amparo earlier filed. It has yet to be ascertained if Antonio made it to the court hearing.
What happened before
On July 19 at around 1:00 pm, Antonio’s brother, Alfredo, 22, saw about 10 Army soldiers in the mountainous part of Turague on the way to his uncle’s house, located in the upper part of the mountain.
At 4:00 pm, Antonio fetched water for his sickly uncle, Miguelito Narvaez, but the latter wasn’t around. Antonio then left the pail of in his uncle’s house but never returned after.
On July 20 at around 6:00 am, Alfredo went to house of their uncle looking for his brother Antonio. He found the house ransacked, with traces of combat shoes outside.
Accordingly, their parents, Nieves Narvaez, 50, and Marcelo Narvaez, 70, filed a blotter in their barangay the following day about their missing son.
The Narvaez family alleged that the elements of the 83rd IBPA forced their way to enter and search Antonio’s uncle’s house without a search warrant.
According to National Democratic Front Bicol, the case of Antonio Narvaez is just one in the long list of human rights violations under the 9th IDPA.
NDF-Bicol is calling on all people’s lawyers to assist Antonio Narvaez’s case and other victims of human rights violations by contacting legal organizations that defend civil rights.