KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/10 Nov) – North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza will submit herself to a full-blown investigation of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the alleged manhandling and torture of two bomb suspects arrested last month by provincial police.
Mendoza, in her weekly radio program over DXND here, said that as the highest official of the province, she does not want anybody, even suspects, being tortured or manhandled by authorities.
“I want the rights of the suspects respected,” she stressed.
After the bombing on Oct 20 of the Rural Transit bus in Matalam town that killed 11 and injured many others, Mendoza had immediately issued a directive to police authorities and support units, including the field commanders of army’s operatives in the province, to handle the matter swiftly and expeditiously.
“We made sure our actions were consistent with the ascertainment of the truth and the rule of justice and fairness. I also advised authorities to refrain from pointing fingers prematurely and taking credit by messianic and heroic self projections in media,” said the governor.
The arrest of two bomb suspects identified as Ibrahim Alimana alias Torex Ulama and Allamin Samal alias Shiang Ulama was a result of the extra-judicial confessions of a 15-year old boy who admitted having carried the bag with an improvised explosive device inside the bus on October 20.
Earlier, Supt. Alex Tagum, head of the Task Group North Cotabato, welcomed the CHR probe of the alleged torture.
The CHR probe was prompted by an appeal made by human rights lawyer Zen Malang of the Moro Human Rights Action Center based in Cotabato City who publicly said that his clients, Alimana and Samal, suffered torture and manhandling while in police custody. Medical check-up allegedly revealed no signs of torture on the suspects. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)