Detained Marines transferred to Army camp
Such a simple act as transfer of detained officers and AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon had to do it in a deceitful manner.
The detained marine officers involved in the February 2006 aborted withdrawal of support had learned about the order to transfer to Tanay two weeks ago and they have come to terms with it. In fact, they have started packing Monday night. But when they were fetched for the hearing this morning, there was no military truck to transport their things. So they assumed the order was off.
In the middle of the hearing, they were informed that order for their immediate order was faxed to Cavite. They were not allowed to return anymore to Cavite even to get their things. Two of them,Col. Achilles Segumallian and Major Francisco Domingo Fernandez were given the task of getting all the detainees’ things from Cavite and Fort Bonifacio. Lt. Belinda Ferrer, the lone lady detainee, who was the aide of Gen. Miranda ,was allowed to pick up her own things from Fort Bonifacio.
Eight Marine officers, including former commandant Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda, and an Army captain were detained yesterday in Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal, headquarters of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, after attending court martial proceedings at the camp.
Miranda, said to be one of the leaders of an alleged coup plot in February last year, and the seven other Marines were formerly detained at the Bonifacio Naval Station in Fort Bonifacio and in Fort San Felipe in Cavite City.
The Army officer, Capt. Dante Langkit, used to be detained at the Custodial Management Unit at the Army headquarters also in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
A 10th officer is also covered by the transfer order issued by AFP chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon.
Marine Col. Januario Caringal will be brought to the Tanay detention facility after his discharge from the Navy hospital where he has been recuperating from hepatitis since last month.
Nineteen 19 Army officers and nine Marines are facing court martial for the alleged power grab attempt on Feb. 24, 2006.
All of the Army officers, led by Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, former commander of the First Scout Rangers Regiment, are now in Tanay.
“Effective today, they will be transferred to the Joint Task Force Custodian of the Armed Forces of the Philippines here in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, to consolidate them to make it easier for them to attend these (court) proceedings,” Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro, AFP public information chief, told reporters after the hearing in Camp Capinpin.
“They (Marines) will be provided with basic necessities that we can say are comfortable…They are going to be joined with the group of the (accused) Army officers,” he said.
Transferred with Miranda were Colonels Ariel Querubin, Orlando de Leon and Armando Bañez; Lieutenant Colonels Custodio Parcon and Achilles Segumalian; Maj. Francisco Domingo Fernandez; and 1Lt. Belinda Ferrer.
Bacarro said Miranda and Lim, who was brought to Tanay in July last year, will be sharing a room at the detention facility.
Bacarro disputed claims that the Marine officers should not be detained at the Army headquarters because they are from a different branch of service. He said the facility can house any officer whether from the Army, Marines, Navy or Air Force.
“That’s within the authority of the chief of staff,” said Bacarro, adding that the transfer would also spare military custodians from risks they face whenever the accused are transported from Cavite and Fort Bonifacio to Tanay whenever there are hearings.
“There is the underlying reason of security. You have to ferry them…every time there is a hearing. Of course, there is an element of risk there but it’s not really what we call validated risk,” said Bacarro.
Miranda, Querubin and Segumalian said they were opposed to the transfer.
Querubin’s wife, Ma. Flor, said the accused were informed of the transfer plan days ago but were told to pack their things only last Monday.
“This is an Army camp. I don’t know why they would bring the Marine officers here…They are not yet convicted criminals… This is absurd, Really this all a sham. It’s farcical. I don’t know what to say anymore,” she said.
First photo: Col. Ariel Querubin with daughter, Faye.
Second photo: MajGen Renato Miranda, Col Orlando de Leon, Lt Col Armando Bañez,Col Ariel Querubin, Lt Col Achilles Segumalian, Lt. Col. Custodio Parcon, Maj. Francisco Domingo Fernandez and Lt. Belinda Ferrer.