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Victim of Torture Speaks
By Dr. Orlando Tizon
I am a survivor of torture. I was arrested with four others on September 20, 1982, in Davao City, in the southern island of Mindanao, Philippines. I was kept incommunicado for three weeks in Camp Catitipan of the Philippine Constabulary in the outskirts of the city. I was kept blindfolded and under constant interrogation, drugged, subjected to beatings and all kinds of threats, including mock executions.
Only after three weeks were the five of us allowed to talk to each other. One of the women arrested with us told us that she had been raped by soldiers using instruments dipped in hot pepper. We were finally allowed to receive visitors and talk to our lawyers. After three months, the five of us were transferred to the detention center in the city. While there, I saw prisoners interrogated at any time of the day or night; several were taken from detention never to come back.
On April of the following year, I was interrogated again. They attempted to extract information from me for two weeks. Once, two men in civilian clothes questioned me, and one of them, trying to use a friendly approach, told me that he had gone to military school in a camp in the southern United States. He bragged that he could sing U.S. country folk music better than some Americans.
I was released from prison after President Marcos was thrown out of power in 1986.
I add my voice to the voices of other survivors of torture calling that the practice of torture be outlawed once and for all throughout the world.
Dr. Orlando "Dong" Tizon is a Filipino activist and member of the Chicago chapter of VVAW.