Generals Eleazar, Parlade and Esperon are hiding prisoner taken during May 21 Sta. Rosa Massacre

We demand police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and National Security Adviser Gen. Hermogenes Esperon to reveal the status and whereabouts of Kemuel Ian Cometa, a youth community organizer, who was taken by police and military operatives last May 21 in the assault on a private home in Barangay Macabling, Sta. Rosa, Laguna where three people were massacred.

The public will recall that on that day, Generals Eleazar and Esperon announced separately before reporters that police and military operatives killed what they claim were three “NPA hitmen” in a supposed “shootout” in the wee hours of that morning. General Esperon ecstatically declared that they successfully “foiled” a concocted story about an “assassination plot” against him and officers of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

However, facts gathered by Karapatan Southern Tagalog from neighbors reveal that there was, in fact, no firefight, and that those killed were summarily executed by police and military troops. Neighbors also point out that four people were staying in the house that was raided by the police. Additional testimonies and information revealed today also point out to the fact that Cometa was taken alive by the police.

We demand that Generals Eleazar and Esperon, as well as General Antonio Parlade who heads the AFP’s Southern Luzon Command, to answer the following critical questions: Why did they not reveal in in their press briefing and statements that another person was taken in by military and police operatives? Are they now using the much assailed and highly questionable Anti-Terrorism Law to secretly imprison and keep Cometa under prolonged detention without charges?

We join the Filipino people in amplifying the case of Cometa who is feared wounded and being subjected to torture. We support the clamor for his immediate release. The longer that he is kept in a secret prison by the military and police, it is likely that more crimes are being committed by his police and military captors against him.

Generals Eleazar, Parlade and Esperon are hiding prisoner taken during May 21 Sta. Rosa Massacre