Castillo: ‘Arrest was without due process’

Army: ‘He has standing warrant from RTC Branch 60’

Mr. Isidro Castillo alias Gesnar allegedly former Secretary of Larangang Guerilla 2, and identified as member of Regional Urban White Area Committee (RUWAC) under Religious Sector and Spokesperson of Negros Farmers Sugarcane Workers (NFSW), vehemently denied the accusation against him by the authorities that he was part of the ambush that killed army Lt. Fulgencio in March 7, 2010.

Castillo said in a radio interview, that during the incident, he was with Bishop Vicente Navarra, Fr. Larida, and Alangilan Parish Priest Fr. Santillan, for they were busy on their complaint against illegal quarrying at Brgy. Alangilan. It is impossible that he is part of the ambush. He also said, such accusation against him was already resolved that cleared him during the dialogue with then Col. Oscar Lactao and Col. Jon Aying, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander and deputy commander, respectively, after the priests have certified of his presence at Brgy. Alangilan on March 7. So the arrest of the military and police was without due process and a violation to his human rights.

‘Gesnar’ was arrested around 11:00 a.m. of Saturday, January 13 at the Bacolod City Public Plaza for murder wherein he was allegedly part of the ambush.

However, Capt. Ruel Llanes, Civil Military Operations Officer, 303rd Infantry Brigade, said, “we have basis for his arrest. The warrant of arrest against him was issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 60 for murder case.”

Castillo also admitted that he became a member of NFSW in 1970, then became its organizer in 2006 until 2011. Their job is to assist and protect the rights of small sugarcane farmers oppressed by their landlords, and their weapons are only ballpen and paper. He was surprised when he was arrested illegally because the officers did not show him the warrant of arrest he asked for, and they did not introduce themselves before arresting him. So he could not identify them.

He relies his liberty on Karapatan and his legal counsel Atty. Archie Baribar.*(Edith B. Colmo)