Davao City- In a march rally held late afternoon yesterday, human rights advocates lighted their torches to condemn the gruesome killing
of a Filipino interpreter for US troops Gregan Cardeño and to demand for an independent probe of US military intervention and cover-up.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) spokesperson John Birondo, “We take up the issue of Cardeno who is a clear victim of the US military forces operating in the country, and whose case gives credence to the need for the scrapping by the Aquino administration of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).”
Gregan Cardeño, a resident of Zamboanga City had allegedly committed suicide, on the eve of February 2, 2010 in his room inside the camp of 103rd Brigade of the Philippine Army in Camp Ranao, Saber, Marawi City. Gregan was supposed to leave for Cotabato City the day before to work as interpreter of Bahasa language for the US military troops under JSOTFP through Capt. Javier Ignacio, CO of MP-WESMINCOM. His employment was coursed through the Skylink Security and General Services.
Contrary to the police reports, BAYAN said its own investigation revealed a foul play in Gregan’s death. Bayan noted the results of the Fact Finding Mission conducted by human rights group Kawagib last March 2 to 4, 2010 that have triggered suspicion on the real cause of Gregan’s death.
“The autopsy alone would show evidences of several puncture wounds, contusions and hematoma in the head of the cadaver that could have been caused forcefully by other persons,” Bayan-SMR spokesperson John Birondo said.
Bayan noted that at 7:48 am of February 2, Gregan’s elder sister Carivel Cardeño received a text message from Gregan informing the latter that he was not brought to Cotabato but to Marawi City instead.
At 4:00 pm of the same day, Gregan called his wife Myrna crying and telling her that he was doing a job different from being an interpreter. He further said that the job was difficult and he wanted to go home.
“What caused more suspicions were the inconsistencies in the statements of SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris on the part of the local police and Capt. Kay of the US military. Rangiris first reported to Gregan’s family that they saw his body hanging on the roof of his room. He later retracted his statement and had admitted that the body of Gregan was already lying on the floor when they arrived at the scene of incident,” Birondo noted.
“There are more to dig out in this case and we will know the truth no matter what it takes. This is just one of the many atrocities wrought by the presence of US military forces in the areas where the Balikatan exercises are being conducted,” Birondo stressed.
Bayan said “The case of Cardeno was a clear test for Pres. Aquino as regards to promoting genuine patriotism and respect for national sovereignty given that he has been a clear choice by the US government as its next puppet in Asia during the last elections. Pres. Aquino should act on Cardeno’s case now and revoke the VFA and the MDT. ”
For reference: John Birondo, Spokesperson, Bayan-SMR, Contact #: 09396568925