From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Dec 17): Political prisoner Serrano rushed to hospital due to heart attack
Political detainee Eduardo Serrano was rushed to the hospital last Dec. 16 after suffering a heart attack.
Doctors from the Health Alliance for Human Rights (HAHR) urged the courts that he be allowed to stay at the Heart Center of the Philippines where he is currently confined at its Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. He is set to undergo angioplasty.
Serrano, consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is still under detention despite being acquitted by two Regional Trial Courts on charges of murder and frustrated murder.
He has been detained for 11 years.
Last Nov. 26, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QCRTC) Branch 100 acquitted Serrano of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder after the prosecution.
Then, a month before that, the Quezon City Regional Trial Branch 98 also acquitted Serrano from another set of murder and multiple murder charges.
QCRTC Branch 98 Judge Marilou Runes-Tamang ordered the immediate release of political prisoner Eduardo Serrano because he was not the accused Rogelio Villanueva.
“The representatives of the State miserably failed its primary duty to identify the identity of the accused at the cost of horror of Serrano being prosecuted for 11 bygone years,” the court said.
Serrano, a consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) for the peace process, was illegally arrested on May 2, 2004 based on warrants against a certain Rogelio Villanueva.
The court said Serrano was illegally arrested, his name was inserted in the Commitment Order and as one of the aliases of accused Villanueva and was charged without the benefit of preliminary investigation.
“How can this court continue to bestow upon the person of Serrano the suffering of varied monikers of Rogelio Villanueva for the crimes that the latter allegedly committed? When in fact, from the records of the case, there was not a single affidavit submitted by the prosecution that Serrano is the same person as Rogelio Villanueva,” the court said, adding that even testimonies of witnesses failed to show the link between Serrano and Villanueva.
He is facing two more charges before the QCRTC Branch 97 and 215 for kidnapping and multiple frustrated murder.
Human rights group Karapatan called for his immediate release for being an elderly and ailing political prisoner.