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RepublicofthePhilippines
DepartmentofJustice
NATIONALPROSECUTIONSERVICE
OFFICEOFTHEPROVINCIALPROSECUTOR
ProvinceofSamar
CalbayogCity

PEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES,
Complainant,

versus NPSNO.VIII09dINV11000230
For:ILLEGALPOSSESSIONOF
ERICSONACOSTA, EXPLOSIVES
Respondent.
xx

COUNTERAFFIDAVIT

I,ERICSONACOSTA,oflegalage,married,andaresidentof8
th
Annapolis,Cubao,QuezonCity,
afterbeingdulysworninaccordancewithlaw,herebydeposeandstatethat:

1.IamaFreelanceJournalistdoingresearchonHumanRightsviolationsandtheprotectionof
the environment in Samar for the Alliance of Concerned Samareos (ACOS) and the Kapunungan han
Gudti nga Paraguma ha Weste han Samar (KAPAWA). Copies of some of my Research Works and
Articlesareheretoattached.

2. On February 13, 2011, having just completed my research task the previous day, I left the
village center of Barangay Bayang, San Jorge, Samar at a little past 9 o clock in the morning, and
headedforwhatthebarriofolkcalltheirportanunmarkedquaybytheriverwhichwaslessthan
an hours walk via mountain trail, where a pump boat was scheduled to pick me up at the said place
andbringmetoSanJorgetownproper.

3. I was joined by Vicente Dacles, the Barangay Secretary, and several other residents of Bay
angwhowereallgoingtotownaswellforsomebusiness.

4. Dacles was at the head of our pack, followed closely by myself, while the rest, who were
mostlywomenandchildren,werefallingbehindbyatleastahundredmeters.

5.Ataround10:00am,aswewerejustsome200metersawayfromourdestination,wecaught
sightofaplatoonofsoldierswhomotionedus(Daclesandmyself)tostop.Iatoncenoticedthatthe
soldierswererestingandcookingbytheleftsideofthetrail.

6. One of them approached us alertly and asked where we came from and where we were
going.Daclessaidthatwecamefromthevillageandthatapumpboatwaswaitingforusnearbyaswe
wereheadedfortown.

7. The soldier then inquired if we knew where they could fetch water. Dacles turned around
andpointedtoanareasomewhere,andgavethesoldierbriefdirectionsonhowtogetthere.Heeven
addedthatifitbecamedifficulttolocate,thesoldiercouldjustasktherestofourcompanywhowere
laggingbehind.Thesoldierthentoldustocarryon,andsowedid.

8.Barelyaminuteafterwehadstartedwalkingagain,anothergroupofsoldiers(thistime
merelyateam)hadappearedinfrontofus.Onesoldieraskedthesamequestionswheredidwe
comefrom?Wherewerewegoing?Daclessimplyrepeatedtheanswershegaveearlier.

9.Daclesalsotoldthesoldierthatwehadalreadypassedthroughthemainbodyoftheplatoon
andhadinfactgiventhesoldierstheredirectionswheretogetdrinkingwater.Thesoldiertolduswe
cango.

10.Butjustaswewereturningourbackstohim,thesoldieragainorderedustohalt.Hewas
intentlyeyeingtheminiknapsackthatIwascarrying.Hesaid:Anoyangnasabagmo?

11.BeforeIcouldevenreply,thesoldier,inbriskmovements,hadunslungtheknapsackfrom
myshouldersandhadzippeditopen.Itwasmycomputernotebookandsomeothercomplimentary
gadgetshefoundinsidemyminiknapsack.

12.Thesoldierwasquitesurprisedbywhathesaw.Nasabundokkataposmaylaptopka?the
soldiersaid.

13.Thesoldierandhisteamledusquicklybacktowherethemainbodyoftheplatoonwas.
Therethesoldierstookturnsdoingbodysearchonme.Theyemptiedmypocketsandmyslingpouch;
theycheckedmysides,rantheirhandsthrougheverypartofmybodyandliftedthehemofmyshirt
uptomynecklookingforconcealedweapons.Theydidnotfindany.

14.Onesoldierhandedmemycomputerandtoldmetoturniton.Itoldthemthatthe
batterieshadalreadydrainedout.Ipressedthepowerbuttontoshowthemthatthecomputerwont
boot.ButanothersoldierscoldedmeforpressingthebuttonsayingthatImighthaveconsciouslyand
slylytriggeredthecomputertoselfdestruct.

15.Thenthesoldiers,fivetosevenofthematatime,startedtoharanguemealmostinunison,
withraisedvoicesandintermittentinvectivesandthreats.Theysaid:NPAka!Mataassiguroranggo
mokayakamaylaptop!Magingatkasamgakilosmobakamakatikimka!Huwagkangtumakbo!
Ayusinmoangmgasagotmokungayawmongmasaktan!

16.ItriedtoexplaintothemthatIwasdoingresearchintheareabutwhateverIsaidwas
drowneditseemedbytheirintenseexcitementtobadgerandharassme.

17.ThiswentonforseveralminutesuntilourothercompanionsfromBayangfinallyarrivedat
thescene.

18.Asoldieraskedthewomenofthegroupiftheyknewme.Thewomensaidyesandthatthey
weresupposedtogototownwithme.Anothersoldierbuttedinandshoutedandberatedthegroup,
Mgasinungalingkayo,saidthesoldier,NPAangtaongito!
19.Anofficerfinallyintervened.Heintroducedhimselfasthecommandingofficerofthe
platoon.Hetoldmycompanionsthattheyreallfreeanywaytogotowheretheyweresupposedtogo,
andthesoldierswillonlytakewiththemtheTagalog(me).

20.WhenaskedbythewomenwhereIwouldbebroughtto,theofficerjusttoldthemtogo.
Hence,BarangaySecretaryDaclesandtherestoftheBayanggroupwerecompelledtoleavemewith
thesoldiersandwentstraighttotheport.

21.Theofficerapproachedmeandgavemehisname,2
nd
LieutenantJacobMadarang.Hesaid
thattheywouldbringmetotheheadquartersoftheCharlieCompanyofthe34
th
InfantryBatallionin
BarangayBlancaAurora.Ataround11:00am,Madarangassignedmeaplaceinthemiddleofthe
formationandtheplatoonbeganmarchingandpassingthroughstretchesofrockyandmuddyterrain.

22.Wewouldonirregularintervalsstopandrestforafewminutes.IfoundoutthatMadarang
wasusingthesereststotrytocontacthissuperiorstoinformthemofmyarrest.Thecellphonesignal
intheareaswassounstableorwassimplyabsentthatittookMadarangallofsevenhourstofinallyget
toapositionwhereacellphonecallwaspossible.

23.At6:00p.m.,IsawandheardMadarangtalkingtosomeoneonhiscellphone.Hewas
consistentinaddressingthatsomeoneassirsoIthoughtthathewasinfactconversingwithoneof
hissuperiors.

24.Iimmediatelygotthedriftofthesaidconversation.ItseemedthatMadarangwasbeing
toldnottobringmeanymoretotheCompanyheadquarters,butjusttogetridofmeinstead.
Madarangontheotherhandwassortoflobbyingorpolitelyinsistingthatitwaswisertobringmeto
headquartersforinterrogationashestronglyfeltthatthattheycouldextractfrommesomevaluable
information.Ialsoheardhimsay:Tagalogito,sir.Bakatagalegalfrontitongnationalomulasaisang
nationalorgan.

25.Afterthephonecall,MadarangtoldhismenthattheywouldindeedbringmetotheCharlie
CompanyHQinBlanca.Healsocommandedasoldiertotiemebythewaistbeforewemarchedagain.

26.Anhourandahalflateratanotherstop,Madarangorderedoneofhismentogivemea
jacket,andsoIwasgivenone,afatiguearmyuppergarment,andIputiton.AtfirstIthoughtofitas
somesimplegestureofhumanitarianconcernonthepartoftheyounglieutenant.

27.Assoonhoweverasweenteredavillagecenter(thiswasthebarangayimmediatelybefore
BarangayBlanca),Ifoundoutwhatthejacketwasreallyallabout.Thesoldierbehindmewhowasalso
theoneholdingmyleashsuddenlyplacedhisrightarmuponmyshoulders.Theactmadeitappear
thatthissoldierandmewerecasuallywalkinglikepalsastheplatoonpassedthroughthedimlylit
streetsofthevillage.Theplatoonhadtomakesurethatnooneinthebarriosawtheunitwitha
captive.

28.WearrivedfinallyatCharlieCompanyHQinBlancaataround9:00pm.Madarangformally
turnedmeandmythingsovertohissuperior.Thelatterintroducedhimselftomeasthecompany
commander.Imnotsosurenowhoweverifhehadgivenmehisnameorhisrank.Atanyratehis
welcomeremarksconfirmedwithoutdoubtmyearliergutfeel.HesaidPasalamatkabinuhaykapa.
Sabikokaninasamgataokohwagkanangdalhinditoatichargekanalangsaencounter.

29.Thecompanycommanderthentoldmetorestforafewminuteswhilewaitingforthe
Batallioncommander.Beingfamiliarwiththerightsofapersonunderarrest,Itoldhimthatitwould
bebesttoturnmeovertothenearestpolicedetachmentimmediatelyandthatIwouldneedalawyer.
Hedidntgivemeanyanswerasifhedidnthearme.Somebodythentookapictureofmeusinga
cellphone.

30.Whilewaitingforthebattalioncommander,Isawandheardanarmyofficerbriefingthe
personneloncampregardingmyarrestanddetention.TheofficerstressedthatnooneoutsidetheHQ
ortheimmediatecommunityaroundthecampmustbetoldtheCharlieCompanywasholdingme.The
humanrightsgroupshesaidwouldprobablystartsearchingformethenextdayorthedayafterthat
andsotheyhadtobereallystrictthatmypresenceintheHQdidnotleak.

31.Thebattalioncommanderandhisentouragearrivedataround10:00to10:30pm.Thisalso
signaledthestartofmyinterrogation.AttheoutsetIreiteratedthatmyarrest,detentionand
interrogationwereallbeyondtheboundssetbylaw.Isaidthatiftheyareinanywaycontemplating
onchargingmewithsomething,thentheyshouldjustbringmetothenearestpolicedetachmentand
thatIwouldurgentlybeneedingtheassistanceofmylawyer.Anofficershowedhisirritationand
loudlyandemphaticallysaid:Legalprocedurekayonanglegalprocedureehkayongaangiligal!In
thatcase,Isaiditwouldreallybebestformetorefusetoanswertheirquestions.

32.Theinterrogationbyatleast8militarypersonstakingturns,commenced10:30p.m.ofthe
13
th
ofFebruaryandstretchedupto6:00pmofthe15
th
ofFebruary.Withinthisspan(moreorless44
hours)Iwasonlyallowedtwo(2)hoursofsleepwhichwasactuallymadepossiblebecausemy
interrogatorsthemselvesalreadygottootiredandsleepy.

33.IwassubjectedtovariouslinesofquestioningtowhichIwouldalwaysremindmy
interrogatorsthatIcouldonlyanswerquestionsregardingbasicpersonaldata.Myinterrogatorsin
turnwouldshowgentle,patientpersistencethatalternatedwithnotsoveiledthreatsthatsaidthat
theonlyrealroadtomysafetyiscooperationwiththemilitary.

34.Onthe15
th
ofFebruary,ataround6:00p.m.,thecolonel(whomIhadonlyknownas
Williamafterhearinganotherofficeraddresshimassuch)toldmethattheywouldbringmetothe
SanJorgeMunicipalPoliceHeadquarters.WerodeanSUVandittookuslessthananhourtoreachSan
JorgePNP.

35.UponarrivingatthevicinityofSanJorgePNP,thecolonelandtheotherofficerswent
straightintotheheadquartersbuildingwhileIwasleftinsidethevehiclewithmyguardsoldiers.

36.Afterabout20minutes,onesoldier,whohadearlierenteredthesaidbuildingwiththe
colonel,returnedtothevehicleandinanurgenttoneaskedmyguardsoldiersiftheyhadbroughtthe
grenade.OneofthesoldiersintheSUVsaidyes,andtookoutfromasmallbagagrenadeandgaveit

tothesoldierwhoaskedforit.Thelatterwentbacktothebuildingquiteinahurry.Itwasatthistime
thatIguessedandrealizedthatImightjustbechargedwithacrimethathadsomethingtodowiththe
grenade.

37.Afewminutesmore,IwasledinsidethePNPbuilding.ApoliceofficernamedLucero
receivedmeandinformedmethatIambeingchargedwithillegalpossessionofexplosive.Isawone
soldierplacethegrenadeonanofficetableandanotherpoliceofficerwhowasoccupyingthesaid
tablepicktheexplosiveupandnonchalantlyinspectedit.Lucerothensaidthattheblotterprocedure
couldwaituntilmorning,beforetheinquestinCalbayogCity.
38.MeanwhileLucerotoldmethatIwouldbebroughttotheGandaraHospitaltobeexamined
byamedicolegalpractitioner.ThecolonelandhismendrovemetothesaidhospitalandthereLucero
presentedmetothemedicolegalaround8:00pm.TheythenbroughtmebacktoSanJorgePNP.The
colonelandhismenmadesurethatIwassecurelylockedupbeforeleaving.

39.TheyoungSanJorgePNPchief,Pagulayanstartedchattingwithmefromoutsidemy
detentioncell.ItoldhimthatIneededtocontactmyfamilybyphonetoinformthemofmysituation
andwhereabouts.Thepolicechiefsaidthathecantallowmetomakethatcall.Ipleadedusinga
differenttactbutmainlybyinvokingthatIhavetherighttoaphonecall.Hecounteredbysayingthat
hecantdoanythingbecausethecolonelnevermentionedanythingaboutit.

40.Onthe16
th
ofFebruaryat7:30a.m.,Icompletedtheblotterprocedure.Thepolicemade
mefillupsomeforms,tookmyfingerprintsandmugshots.Andaround8:00a.m.,thecolonelandhis
menarrivedattheSanJorgePNP.Theywereallinstylishcasualcivilianclothes.

41.ThecoloneltalkedbrieflywiththepoliceofficersthenhisgroupleftforCalbayogCitywhere
thepolicetoldmeearlierIwouldbeinquest.Afewminutesafterthecolonelleft,Iwasmadetoride
thepolicepickupwithmyhandshandcuffedbehindme.WearrivedattheCalbayogCityHallofJustice
ataround9:00a.m.

42.AttheHallofJusticemypoliceescortsheadedbyLuceroledmeinsideaprosecutorsoffice.
TheytoldmetowaitwhileLuceropreparedthepapersofmycomplainants.Someofthecolonelsmen
werealsointhatoffice.Luceroneverattemptedtoexplaintomethedetailsoftheprocedureonhis
volition.WhenIaskedsomequestionswhilehewastalkingtotheprosecutorssecretary,Lucerojust
flaredupandtoldmetoshutup.Isensedthatthepresenceofthecolonelandhismenwasgivingthe
policeofficersomeunduepressure.

43.FromwhatIgatheredfromLuceroandthesecretarysWinarayconversation,therewas
somehitchintheinquestschedule.Thestenographerwasnotavailable,accordingtothesecretary.
Worse,theprosecutorwasoutandthesecretaryhadnoideawhenhewouldbecomingback.The
secretaryadvisedLucerotogotoanotherofficeandtrytoconsultwithsomelegalpersonnelthere.

44.Wewenttothesaidoffice,sodidthecolonelandhismen.Itwasarelativelybigoffice
spacewithmanytablesandemployees.LuceroconsultedwithsomepeopleandIheardthat,inlieuof
aninquest,hewasadvisedtofacilitatethefilingofthecomplaintdirectlytotheofficeofthejudge.

45.Lucerothenexpressedhisdilemmawithmycustodialdetentioninthathewas
apprehensiveofbringingmebacktoSanJorgePNP.Hesaidthattheywouldhaveaproblemwithmy

maintenanceandthatfurthermore,hewasnotsurehowtheywouldperformincasetheNPAtriedto
rescueme.

46.Lucerothenaskedifitwerelegallypossibletohandmebacktothemilitaryashehadafew
hoursearlierbeenbriefedbythecolonelthatthe8
th
IDwaswillingtotakemeinundersomespecial
custodialarrangements.ItwasherethatIdecidedtointervene.Imadesurethatmyvoicewasloud
andclearforalltheemployeesinthatbigofficetohear.Istoodupandsaidthattheideawashighly
irregularanddefinitelyillegal.Ithendrewtheirattentiontowardsthecolonelandhismenbypointing
attheirgroupwhilesayingthatthesemenincivilianclotheswerethesoldiersandofficerswhoillegally
arrestedmeandarenowmycomplainants,andIwouldneverallowthemtotakemeintocustody.

47.Iheardaladyemployeeremark,Ah,mgasundalopalasila!andIsawtheapproving,
sympatheticglancesandgesturesofsomeoftheemployees.ThenoneemployeetoldLucerothatI
couldnotbebroughtbacktothemilitaryandthebestalternativewastobringmetothesubprovincial
jail.

48.ThenIsaid,inthesameloudandclearvoicethatsomeoneshouldtellLucerothatIm
entitledtoaphonecall,arightthattheSanJorgePNPdeprivedofmedespitemypleasanddespitethe
verycriticalsituationthatmyfamilywasinfarawayMetroManila.AnotheremployeetoldLucerothat,
yes,theSanJorgePNPshouldhaveallowedmetocallmyfamily.Theemployee,sensingthatIstillhad
moreissuestopresent,toldLucerotobringmetothePublicAttorneysOffice(PAO).

49.AtthePAO,ImentionedtooneofthelawyersthatImightneedtheserviceofoneoftheir
attorneysespeciallybecauseIhaveyettocontactmyfamilyandmyprivatelawyerthankstothepolice
andthemilitaryscompletedisregardofmyrights.Thecolonel,asiftryingtowashhishands,stoodup
andannouncedthatheswillingtoletmeusehisphone.IsaidOK,sothecolonelandIleftthePAOand
wentoutsidetheHallofJustice.

50.OutsidetheHallofJustice,thecolonelgavemehisphoneandIwasabletocontactmy
mother.ButjustasIwasgivingmymotherthedetailsofmysituation,thecoloneltoldmetoendthe
call.Hetookhisphoneandleftwithhismen.

51.AfterthistheSanJorgepolicemenbroughtmetothesubprovincialjailwhereIwas
remittedaround1:30p.m.

52.IlaterlearnedthataComplaintforIllegalPossessionofExplosiveswasfiledagainstme
beforetheRegionalTrialCourtofCalbayogCityat10:30a.m.ofFebruary16,2011orseventytwo(72)
hoursandthirty(30)minutesaftermyarrestonFebruary13,2011at10:00a.m.

53.Ivehementlydenythatthehandgrenadewasconfiscatedinmypossessionorundermy
control,butwasintruthonlyplantedbythemilitarywhoarrestedme.

54.Inmyarrestandcontinueddetention,myconstitutionalandhumanrightswereviolated.To
summarize:

a. Iwasarrestedwithoutwarrantwhilenotcommittinganycrimeordoinganythingillegal;

b. Iwasnotinformedofthereasonformyarrestatthetimeofmyarrest;
c. Iwasdeniedtherighttocounsel;
d. Iwasdeniedaphonecallandpreventedfromcontactingmyfamilyormylawyer;
e. Iwassubjectedtoprolongedinterrogationfor44hours;
f. Duringtacticalinterrogation,Iwasphysicallyandpsychologicallytortured;
g. Iwasdeprivedofsleep,threatened,intimidated,coercedandforcedtoadmitmembership
intheNPA;
h. Theevidenceagainstme,thegrenade,wasplanted;
i. Thecomplaintagainstmewasfiledincourtonlyafter72hoursand30minutesaftermy
arrest;and,
j. Iwasdetainedinamilitarycamp,whichisnotofcivilianjurisdiction.

55.ThisCounterAffidavitisbeingexecutedtoattesttothetruthofalltheforegoingfactsand
eventsandtodisclaimalltheaccusationsagainstme.

INWITNESSWHEREOF,Ihavehereuntoaffixedmysignatureonthis11
th
dayofApril,2011at
CalbayogCity.

ERICSONACOSTA(sgd.)
Affiant

SUBSCRIBEDANDSWORNtobeforemethis11
th
dayofApril,2011atCalbayogCity.

IherebyCERTIFYthatIhavepersonallyexaminedtheaffiantandthatIamsatisfiedthathehas
voluntarilyexecutedandunderstoodhisCounterAffidavit.

AGUSTINM.AVALON(sgd.)
Asst.Prov.Prosecutor

(alsosignedbyJULIANF.OLIVA,JR.,counsel)