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Police accused of making trump-up charges

MANILA (Agencies) : The Philippine National Police is accused of violating the rights of political prisoner Isidro de Lima by subjecting him to interrogation and bribery.

Cristina Palabay, Secretary General of Karapatan, said in a statement on June 23 that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the National Capital Region subjected de Lima to a two-hour interrogation at around 9.00am on June 18, and coerced him to give false testimonies against the peace consultant of National Democratic Front of The Philippines, Adelberto Silva, and another rights advocate, Rosanna Cabusao.

De Lima was arrested by the CIDG with Silva and Cabusao on June 1 in Bacoor City, Cavite. The three are currently placed in a temporary detention area inside the CIDG-NCR office in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Palabay said false charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives were filed against the three detainees, while Silva is also facing other trumped up charges in other courts outside Metro Manila. 

Palabay said during the tactical interrogation, De Lima was asked how he came to know Silva and Cabusao; if he knew that Silva and Cabusao are the followers of the Communist Party of The Philippines and that Silva was a financier of the movement. The interrogation was conducted by a man called Ignao who introduced himself as De Lima’s nephew. Ignao also accused Silva and Cabusao’s family members who visit them as their “comrades in the movement.” 

However, De Lima said Ignao is not his relative. 

At the end of the interrogation, Ignao urged De Lima to “cooperate” with the authorities and promised him immediate release if he did. Ignao gave De Lima 1,000 pesos ($172) but insisted that it had nothing to do with the interrogation. De Lima, upon his return to his cell, gave the money back to the guards but they refused to accept it, saying there was no one called “Ignao” among them.

Palabay said De Lima’s family members were also tailed and harassed.

Cavite, in an earlier statement, has denied being a top official of the CPP, as well as the charges lodged against him.

Silva also denied allegations that he was picked as the new secretary general of the CPP, and said he had no involvement in the charges of murder or attempted murder filed against him.