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News :: Human Rights
UPDATE - NOW ON ITS 30TH DAY, HUNGER STRIKE OF ERNEST BARRAQUIAS JR. He REFUSED AN INTRAVENOUS INJECTION OF GLUCOSE AT St. Louis University Hospital in Baguio City, Philippines.
by Ernest Barraquias Jr.
Email: ejwfn (nospam) yahoo.com
Phone: (63) 926-570-79-70
30 Jul 2004
Hunger Strike of the discoverer & whistle-blower of seized drugs distribution by high-ranking police generals & drug lords in the Philippines. The country is ranked by the latest United Nations report to be the 3rd biggest producer & exporter of the methampetamine hydrochloride, called “shabu”, but commonly called “meth”, “ice”, “crack” in the United States where the instantly addictive illegal substance is becoming extremely popular in the West Coast & Southern States. The Philippines is also an acknowledged major transshipment of the said drugs to other countries. Assasination attempts and persecution on him. He is still ignored by the government.
30 July 2004
Notes - At the last paragraph of this article you will find references on Ernest’s identity, top officials of the country given documents about him & his complaints with their contact numbers, and some other factual information. I will give you an update every 3-4 days. Attached files with pictures.
Despite his deteriorating state of health, Ernest refuses to heed admonitions from relatives, priests, and friends to stop his hunger strike. He is determined to stop ONLY when the top officials of the government law-enforcement agencies begin to conduct serious probes, sensible & trustworthy investigations on his complaints. It was about the kidnapping/slay attempts on him, continued grave threats from known persons, staged disappearance of Thom & its relation to the last attempt on his life. Despite his now frail physical condition and lack of strength, he continues going around the country and touring the major cities to distribute information leaflets that also urges people to help him in his petition to the highest officials of the country to conduct investigations. He considers it an act of public service because the papers he distribute also contain suggestions on how to minimize the chances of being victimized by crimes, exposes on the seized drug trade by crooked law-enforcement officials, the hazards of drugs & the devastation of certain communities caused by widespread drug use. It also discusses how the country and all its citizens would benefit if the Senate or Congress would launch serious probes on it, beginning on his case.
He is specific on the failed kidnapping/slay attempt on him on 26 January 2004 and the subsequent attempt to abduct him on 9 February 2004, where a close friend of a drug lord claimed to have negotiated for his life & that of Richswaze for that night. Glen Peralta & Peter Lugay, senior agents of NBI (our FBI equivalent) had worked on it but came up with nothing, partly due to the fact that the team was highly influenced by Lowell Estiandan, a suspect himself. For more than 2 years, Lowell obtained most of the evidences for investigations and some for lab analysis & safekeeping, nothing ever happened and I could not actively pursue the cases because Richswaze & I are virtual hostages and I had to feign my calls for help by focusing on the lesser crimes of individual members. I had hoped that they themselves would uncover the group’s activities. Lowell & his group of other agents & members of some special police forces obtained so many funds from Ernest too but they all denied him of due assistances & calls for help in many incidents. Eventually, Ernest learned that Lowell was deceiving him. He also misled Ernest siblings, friends and other relatives. He was extremely close to Thomas but also very closely linked to Ernest relatives who hated Thomas. All he did to obscure the real issues surrounding the grave threats and attempts on the life of Ernest. Lowell informed Ernest that their suspects include his lawyer & his clients & friends who are high-ranking generals. After his escape, he went to Singapore on March 11 and came back to the country on May 27, after the messy & violent election season in the Philippines.
Suspects include Frank Engles, Lowell Estiandan, Mark Edgar Go, Christian De Guzman, Sheryl Almuete, Thomas Bernas & his handlers that include the country’s major drug lord, & very high-ranking police generals who distributed seized drugs using Thom, his nephew-dependent who became Vice-President of the company, & through the company’s legitimate operations. Ernest other nephew-dependent Richswaze, 10 years old, was unaware that he was held virtual hostage for almost 3 years. It was to prevent Ernest from raising the issue with the media, follow up on his complaints with the authorities, or filing court charges against the suspects & their group. The group did not only use his company on their illegal drug trade, several of its members who infiltrated the company also committed massive theft of funds, stocks, qualified theft & tampering of documents. Most of the bank frauds including forged checks encashments were committed with the connivance of the senior bank manager Jacinto Morales, who also opened illegal/bogus accounts named to his company first at Security Bank then at East-West Bank Cainta.
In December of 2001, he discovered that Thomas Bernas was recruited by some police officials in Cainta connected to some gang and drug syndicates operating in their suburban town around 9kms away from Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police Headquarters. Later on, he also found out that the group sold seized drugs for very high ranking law-enforcement officials. Since then, Ernest and Richswaze had been through unimaginable traumatic experiences of surviving attempts to kill them by poisoning, tampering of F-150 & Expedition parts, hanging, massacre, & mostly abduction.
Since 2002, Thom distributed/ran drugs in some cities north of Manila, in addition to financing his own sub-group’s drug trade through close friends & some gangs in our local place and nearby cities/twns. That is on top yet of their insertion in the boxes of the illegal drugs in our deliveries nationwide. The instantly addictive illegal substance is called “shabu” (methampetamine hydrochloride) in the country, and its derivatives or variants are called “ice”, “rock”, “crack” in the US, and its tablet form is called “ecstasy”. Drug lords in the Philippines are always identified with the top officials in the Philippines and sometimes have more political clout than even police generals. So, to “re-distribute” seized drugs, they had to use other channels or means in the market, or if “re-acquired” by the drug lord, another way of pushing it to the areas controlled by a competing group. Prior to the national elections this year (May 11, 2004), they had record-breaking amounts of seized drugs for the year 2003. According to the latest United Nations report, the country is the 3rd biggest producer/exporter of the mentioned illegal substance in the world.
The group intimidated Ernest by claiming that they have vast influences and protected by the country’s major politicians, hard-hitting media personalities, & even by the human rights groups, which he hopes he rightly doubt. We’ve been informed that there were strong-hands making “subtle” requests to some news organizations not to publicize his hunger strike. However, there are already reports on his hunger strike by the country’s leading daily paper & leading TV network.
Please help, mail this to your friends and relatives. I’m in even graver danger now, but making the top public officials know this is now of international public knowledge will help prevent them from making Ernest abducted & “disappear”. It is because most of the masterminds-suspects have political ambitions / careers or are closely related to the top officials / politicians. Names of potential witnesses are withheld, as well as some critical data. Although I’m new to the Internet, I understand your security concerns. But please open the attached files containing our pictures & other text files.
Short Narration of Key Events that led to my Hunger Strike since 18 June 2004 (Excepted from the first news release)
In the year 2000, my former business partner and I, split up. We the both founded competing companies. I and my 2 nephew-dependents, as well as key stay-in employees moved to Cainta, Rizal, a town nearer the major financial & business districts of Metro Manila than many other cities in the Capital Region of Metro Manila. We settled in a relatively big house.
On December (10?) of 2001, I was warned directly by members of the Cainta Police that I should be silent on my discoveries of their recruitment of Thomas in their group, my nephew-dependent who was Vice President of our company. Their group includes gangs, drug syndicates, high-ranking police generals, and possibly our neighbor bank manager Jacinto Morales. Since then, employees would only pack at night and make unauthorized and unscheduled deliveries to certain clients in certain places as they wish, and used our operations to distribute drugs in many places. Seized drugs cannot be easily sold back to the “market” because drug lords in this country are sometimes more politically powerful and police generals would not want to raise their ire. Thom and employees who are members of their group too, would also directly “run” significant volume of drugs in may places in cities north of Manila. He drove our Ford F-150 & Expedition, considered ultimate luxuries driven mostly by the country’s elite, so he was never stopped by the police, never even when he would rampantly violate traffic laws. He also brought other kinds of drugs back to Manila. I know the places, & some persons.
In the summer of 2002, I nervously managed to snap a picture of the drugs in one of the boxes for delivery the following day. I handed it over to NBI agents Lowell Estiandan, my first cousin, and his other partners. They also obtained many evidences for lab analysis. They conducted some investigations, especially about the employees I declared as suspects and syndicate members who infiltrated the company. Then, nothing happened. I even spent so much funds, but nothing happened, & some investigators turned out be corrupt & some eventually threatened me too.
I was illegally detained and hospitalized because my siblings, who did not bother to see me, were influenced into believing that I was into drugs. They signed an expensive rehabilitation contract for me at the Metropsych-Pasig, but I was instead released by the Doctor. I stayed in hospitals for 3 months, May-August 2002, she said she found nothing wrong with me. Upon discharge, I discovered even more anomalies in the company and it was being run by employee-suspects. While I was in the hospital, Jacinto Morales the bank manager opened a bogus / illegal account named to my company but the deposited & withdrawn legitimate funds amounted to around 50thousand US dollars, less than the earlier fraud & similar incidents. Many evidences against the group were destroyed or gone missing. Illegal / bogus account No. 11-02-00723-5 named to my company at East West Bank-Cainta.
Every year during our peak season of January to May, I constantly travel around the country because we don’t have provincial offices and I take care of the booking of our key accounts. So I was mostly physically absent from the company and Thom and some key employees had a direct hand in the packaging and deliveries departments. Our company distributes mostly imported paper products and forms in all the major bookstores, grocery stores, and department stores nationwide. I thought I had good control systems, but it was inadequate, and afterall, Richswaze and I were virtual hostages. Paper products are heavy, so is “shabu”.
On 22 January 2004, Thom disappeared, together with my key properties that would prevent me from traveling. 4 Days after the attempt to abduct me failed because I had escaped. On 9 February 2004, the close family friend of the country’s biggest drug lord claimed to have negiated for my life. Then I learned how even more powerful the group is because I was like a state enemy since then and I was under intense surveillances. I managed to go to Singapore on 11 March 2004.
Right now they’re into assessing whom I have talked to while abroad, to whom did I communicate with, and who now knows all about this. When I talked to international agencies, including human rights groups and international law-enforcement bodies, I declared names. They bribed someone to steal my passport, new directory, & complete flashdisk backup of my laptop computer, and my ID’s.
References on me
Ruperta Vergara, Ph.D. - Former DepEd Superintendent C/O Miss Donna (074) 4460275 or (074) 444-9790
Hazel Miraflor - Finance Supervisor, Nissan Gallery / Ford Makati Group of Companies (02) 635-5888 Mobile 09209060561
Nelson Barraquias Lim,- Asia Pacific Regional Circulation Manager, Newsweek Magazine (The Washington Post Co.) (02) 833-4056
Atty. Ehrlich Barraquias- Chief of Legal Departmernt, Maynilad (MWSS-Lopez Group) (02) 435-21-80
Aurora Gervacio- Superintendent, DepEd Las Pinas
Dodgie L. Quitangon- (COSCA) De La Salle University (02) 523-41-43
The following public officials / personalities received copies of my documents. They know I’m on hunger strike, please make them know you too care, call them
Vice President Noli De Castro (02) 414-2538
c/o Magandang Gabi Bayan – Edwin (02) 9212212
Archbishop Oscar Cruz – Dagupan (075-523-5357
Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales
Speaker Jose De Venecia (02) 931-5001 Loc 7219
Senator Franklin Drilon 552-66-01
Senator Pia Cayetano loc 5557
Senator Manny Villar loc 6507
Senator Aquilino Pimentel
Senator Francis Pangilinan (02) 5526601 loc 6514
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (02) 552-6692
Senator Jamby Madrigal loc 5564
Former Senator Tessie Aquino Oreta
Senator Sergio Osmena (02) 552-6601 loc 5519
This work is in the public domain