By Raïssa Robles
Colonel Eduardo Matillano, then a young soldier, was one of the few officers who was made to face a military court for conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. In the end, he and his fellow accused were acquitted from charges of torturing Trinidad Herrera. Their trial was just for show.
Below is Col. Matillano’s side of the story, which I wrote in the book Marcos Martial Law: Never Again:
“WE WERE USED”
Interviewed in 2015, the lanky, ash-haired Colonel Eduardo Matillano showed off pictures of his daughter, smiling, and fresh out of law school. Years before his daughter was born, Matillano was accused of torturing other fathers’ daughters to make them confess that they were Communists and to force them to rat on fellow Communists.
Matillano said he regretted those days. “ We were used by the government. That’s why we rebelled against President Marcos. We were going to launch a coup d’état against him (in 1986),” he told me.
He declined to talk specifics about his activities as an interrogator — laughingly dismissing the subject — but did bring up one case: “That case where I was tried — what’s her name — she was the President of Zone One Tondo Organization. It was a subversive organization operating in Metro Manila.”
Was she subversive?, I asked him.
“Subversive, yes,” he replied. “We arrested her, then interrogated her. In the process, they claimed there was torture.”
Was there torture?, I asked him.
Matillano laughed out loud at my blunt question, then fell silent. Then he said, “I was tried for it. But I was acquitted.”
“They claimed that I — we electrocuted her. We would force her to talk about the Organization. And then nag-report siya sa (she reported to ) human rights. I was charged with human rights violations. Documented naman ito, e Makukuha mo yan sa archives ng military.” (That’s documented, anyway. You can get that from the military archives.)
I asked him why he was singled out for court martial when there were so many interrogators committing torture.
Matillano replied: “Because the girl complained, I know, to the Americans and to Amnesty International. The US government ordered the Philippine government to — you know….”
I asked Colonel Matillano if the torture during Martial Law had been ordered by Marcos. He said, “It just happened.”
When I asked him to elaborate, he said, “We were given so much power during Martial Law. For example, I was assigned with the Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group, the most powerful during Martial Law under General Prospero Olivas.”
“The head is Colonel Rolando Abadilla. Kami ang nagiimplement ng mga (We were the ones implementing the) arrest, search and seizure order (ASSO), na (that was) signed by Secretary Enrile.”
“Remember — Arrest, Search, Seizure Order.
“Under normal circumstances mahirap kunin yan (that’s hard to get). You have to go to court, file a request, present evidence. But under Martial Law, bibigyan kami ng listahan (We would be given a list): These are the people to be arrested.”
Matillano disclosed how some of his colleagues even inserted names to be arrested. “We can even include the people who are not there, e,” he added chuckling.
When I asked him whether he did that, he said he couldn’t recall: “But there were some people doing that, ako (me), I don’t remember doing it.”
Then, Matillano stared into the distance for some time, then turned to me, saying “Minsan pag nagkaroon ng power. There was a time may power ang military. E, kami naman, implementor lang kami. We just follow. Nakita namin ginagawa naman ng iba, so gagawin din namin.” (Sometimes, when one obtains power…There was a time the military had the power. But we, were were merely implementors (sic). We just followed. We saw that others were doing it, so we also did it.)
He confirmed that what was happening on the ground was the exact opposite of what the dictator Marcos was claiming then, that the rights of those being arrested were being protected.
Matillano told me: “Ang tingin ko…parang our system of torture — nawala ang due process. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to (an) attorney. E, walang right yan. Nawala lahat yan.” (In my opinion…our system of torture — did away with due process. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to (an) attorney. There were no more rights. Those rights were all gone.)
I asked him what their general orders were at that time and whether his superior, Colonel Abadilla, had reminded them of Marcos’ supposed directive to protect the human rights of detainees. Matillano said they merely followed the “arrest, search and seizure order. When we are given that (ASSO), you either arrest a person in the list in the order, search their house and seize all evidence of crime.”
“Where does the torture come in?,” I asked him.
Matillano replied, “When I want to get information muna (first): ‘Saan yung mga kasama nyo? Sinong mga kasama niyo?
Papaano n’yo bang ginagawa itong mga activities nyo?’ “(Where are your companions? Who are your companions? How do you conduct your activities?)
“That’s our method of forcing him to talk. Mas madali yon, e. (Because it’s easier.) It’s very tiring, a — (you know) to keep punching a person.”
Matillano said that, anyway, later he considered that he had already been “punished — in a way”; when he was arrested and jailed for participating in a coup attempt against President Corazon Aquino.
any lawyers here? do you agree with this?
Duterte’s decision to allow Marcos burial cannot be reviewed by courts — OSG
President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to give former President Ferdinand Marcos a place at the Libingan ng mga Bayani could not be reviewed by the courts as it is a prerogative allowed by the law and the Constitution.
This was the position taken by Solicitor General Jose Calida as the Supreme Court resumed on Wednesday the oral arguments on the petitions seeking to deny Marcos a hero’s burial.
“The wisdom of interring Marcos at the Libingan is a political question…hence excluded from judicial review are questions of policy and wisdom otherwise referred to as as political questions,” Calida said.
Duterte, Calida said, could also not be accused of committing grave abuse of discretion because the President’s decision had basis in the Administrative Code and Armed Forces of the Philippines regulations on burying statesmen and soldiers at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The government’s top lawyer stressed that to bury Marcos is not to honor him as a hero, saying that he would be given only “simple mortuary rites befitting” a former leader and commander-in-chief.
Reiterating Duterte’s stand that the burial will promote national healing, Calida noted the 14 million votes Marcos’ son, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr received in the May election showed there is “no more national trauma” when it comes to the Martial Law regime, where thousands had been killed, tortured and disappeared for opposing Marcos.
Calida added that the former president was neither dishonorably discharged nor convicted of a crime despite his ouster from office through a People Power revolt in 1986, a position taken by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio in the first round of oral arguments last week.
“The success of the EDSA Revolution is tantamount to dishonorable discharge has no basis in military regulations,” Calida said.
read this :
Marcos’ achievements as soldier not diminished by ouster —gov’t lawyer
Published September 7, 2016 2:55pm
By VIRGIL LOPEZ, GMA News
Former President Ferdinand Marcos’ achievements as a soldier who fought the Japanese occupation in the 1940s would not be diminished just because he was ousted from power in 1986, Solicitor General Jose Calida told the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday.
The government wants to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on the ground that he was a former president and soldier, which several quarters questioned before the SC citing the abuses during the Martial Law regime and his alleged dubious war record.
“It is in the position of the state that once it is awarded (Medal of Valor), it cannot be diminished. It cannot be nullified,” Calida said when asked by Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro during the oral arguments if Marcos’ removal from the presidency can be considered as a “good reason” to strip him bare of what he has done during his lifetime.
Marcos was awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest Philippine military accolade, in October 1958 in relation to a “suicidal action” against the Japanese forces in Bataan in January 1942.
As an expression of the state’s gratitude, Calida said Marcos’ widow, former First Lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, has been receiving P25,000 monthly pension (P20,000 for Medal of Valor and P5,000 for being a soldier) since 1994.
In disputing Marcos’ war medals, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Ma. Serena Diokno admitted that they only investigated the awards that were claimed to have received from the United States Army.
“We did not dispute the medals given by the Philippine Army,” she said.
Still, the Commission on Human Rights said Marcos should be denied a place at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because of rights abuses committed during Martial Law.
“It is our opinion that burying him (ex-President Marcos) at the Libingan ng mga Bayani would be contrary to international and national laws with respect to human rights,” CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon said when Associate Justice Jose Perez asked him if the burial will affect the rights of Martial Law victims.
Gascon also stressed that the Marcoses never acknowledged that “they had in fact committed these human rights violations.” —ALG, GMA News
first of all even the question is, is the medal recognized?
or maybe again gagawa naman sila ng magic na galing quiapo?
State of Lawlessness: the Dutertes?
Son Paolo provides the proof
Daughter Sara provides the emotion
Papa Digong declares the State of Lawlessness
This is getting to be a family presentation..
Word in Davao is that Paolo was an alumnus of drug rehabs. That needs confirmation. Perhaps this explains his war on drugs obsession.
Johnny Lin says
IN DEPTH ANALYSIS
Davao Blast Real Culprits: drug lords have retaliated with their overwhelming cash stash by hiring their own hardliners hired killers
Collateral Damage- inevitable during wartime. Similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger movie as a message to Duterte. Noticeable was the absence of Terminator from his movie idols which could be the reason the message sent to Duterte was his fond of reel to real life comparisons.
Duterte and Bato unilaterally declared war against drug lords
Saying is Revenge is sweeter in domicile which is Davao City.
Abu Sayyaf being made scapegoat which they promptly denied despite An unknown group apparently claiming responsibility which was out of radar even during Sulu clashes and episodes of kidnappings.
Initial excuse by Duterte was that an LPG explosion was a possible cause, not mentioned by any witness that there were stacks of LPG tanks in the area of explosion. By common sense this concept is eliminated that several stacks of LPG containers could only cause the damage and many deaths. But why would Duterte men put out this scenario? Common Sense again will bring you to the right answer.
When Abu Sayyaf announced the denial, immediately Duterte men put out the scenario that they were investigating the idea that the perpetrators were “Disgruntled vendors”. Very pre-posterous again by common sense that these financially struggling vendors could finance this well planned bombing aside from the danger that their own family members could become victims since as vendors definitely some members visit the night market. The pattern emerging was to give different excuses by drifting away first for the “war on drugs” thus the usual and initial suspects should focus on the “war enemies”.
Ending with the question? Why shelve the idea that drug lords exacted revenge on Duterte administration when in time of war the obvious enemy should be the first suspects. Aside from the fact that Duterte men have been saying that the drug lords were joining forces and funds to exact revenge on Duterte and Bato.
Of course, the obvious answer is Duterte did not want the people to have second thoughts on his “killing druggies mantra”. The other obvious is the drug lords will not admit they were the mastermind? Have you seen in any movies that the Mafia, Yakuza or Russian mafias announce on TV that they were responsible for the massacre of their enemies? Danger of comparing reel to real life scenarios has emerged! Well, Duterte is a movie idolizer. It seems his enemies are watching his favorite movies too.
With the drug lords exacting revenge, international leaders squeezing Duterte on human rights and now innocent people are becoming “collateral damage” while only small time drug pushers and users were the early victims of the “drug war” the question is what is the next move of Duterte and Bato?
The only benefit of this drug war so far internationally is our country is the talk of the universe while Duterte and Bato are superstars for the wrong movie!
He he he!
LPG nga ba ang cause ng Davao blast?
Matunog ang tsismis. State of emergency para hindi
Makialam yung Senate at SC at international bomb experts.?
dapat makialam lahat para alam natin cause at bakit kailangan itago kasi pakana nila yan ,
i know very tight security sa davao lalo na nandun ang presidente bakit dun pa pinasabog? stay away muna tayo sa mga matataong lugar kasi kung nangyari sa davao pwede mangyari kahit san pa lalo na ngayon please pray wag sana bumagsak economy…
chit navarro says
Bagsak na exonomy di ba? Nag pull-out i vestors sa stock market!!
chit navarro says
Bagsak na exonomy di ba? Nag pull-out investors sa stock market!! Last week pa…
LPG Source: washington post via associated press
more LPG source: CNN
“Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte said initial reports coming to him said the blast was caused by an LPG tank, although he said this still needed to be confirmed.”
LPG ang sumabog. this is already part of their plan anong kasunod nitong drama? dahilan lang ba ito ni du30 para hindi makaattend ng kanyang first foreign trip. walang mukha iyan ihaharap sa ibang world leaders dahil walang modo at walang utak maliban sa kill kill kill at can’t you take a joke
Word crass andanar down to his usual standards.
The world sympathises with the victims, but laughs at these clowns (not) in charge.
Confusion, and stupidity, reigns.
These kindergarten cops are a danger to life and liberty.
And why not involve international agencies. They could tell a lot from analysis of bomb parts/pieces. Bombs are like fingerprints.
Is that what duterte is afraid of.
Duterte on chatter while he’s speaking: “Do not make noise there. Goddamnit, I will shoot all
of you” (not said in joking tone)
Said friday afternoon, not post bomb blast.
When will the peso drop that the guy has some severe mental health issues and will do anything in the pursuit of control.
The dark triad of traits – narcissism, machiavellianism, & psychopathy.
Most probably too late.
When will people also realise that the drug problem is not a crisis but a manufactured opportunity to implement a police state. The real figures show no crisis.
No wonder alan cayetano keeps inflating the figures at will as he goes along – he quoted 7 million addicts in christianne amanpour interview!
The real figure of addicts is less than 500,000. (Even the DoH said that only 9% of the 600,00 ‘surrendees’ were addicts – 50,000)
And 25% of the total prison population are classified as drug addicts – 35,000.
The figures for addicts are not in the millions! Not even close.
And there is a major distinction between casual user and addict.
Not all users are addicts.
Time dirty duterte came clean, about a lot of things. His eye and hand movements betray him.
Plan a didn’t achieve control, only criticism, so on to plan b.
Duterte is following a classic playbook. Very transparent, and so predictable.
Fear, anger, divisiveness – propaganda and lies.
The country is going downhill fast.
The problem is that duterte has no clue about drugs, policing, or the military, and it is showing. A provincial mayor way out of his depth. A little dictator with big issues, and incapable.
All politicians noticeably quiet.
A national emergency/ ‘martial law’ declared and they have nothing to say! Sheep.
A state of lawless violence declared – all tourists should therefore avoid the philippines.
Everything was peaceful 2 months ago!
change has come and there is now (un)peace. be vigilant, be vigilant, be vigilant, I think, people are getting sick and tired of being told to be vigilant all the time, always. pagod na sila, kaya, bring it on! killings dito, killing duon, bring it on! and davao did not disappoint.
In 1972 it was the months of August and September that bombings and killings led to martial law.
This 2016, it is also the months of August and September that bombing and killings are happening.
Nagdeclare na ng state of lawless violence.
digong vacating his office, resigning dahil the job is too much for him? too much trouble and too much purwisyo.
he is too old for this! healing nation, ngayon heeling nation.
andrew lim says
Something was revealed in this tweet by Sandro Marcos, son of Bongbong:
Was he praying for the perpetrators?
“Prayers going out to those involved in the Davao explosion, hoping you all keep safe! #PrayForDavao”
Well appreciated yung prayers na yan ng ASG, who has claimed responsibility.