To Witness, or Not?

Today’s story is off topic from our usual advocacy, but the email caught the attention of one of our staff members who hails from South Cotobato, and asked us to consider running the story.

https://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.southcotabato.gov.ph/south-cotabato-history/&ved=0ahUKEwi0z6HAmdDXAhUHHZQKHc3yAdEQFgizATAY&usg=AOvVaw2HoH-lZl1DfLFu62HqytyD

After reading the tale of woes, it left me in a state of dismay how our Department of Justice (DoJ) handles it’s witnesses in the Witness Protection Program (WPP), and a serious question comes to mind.

TO WITNESS OR NOT?

My name is Satar Mangilen, I was born on November 11, 1964 in Sumbakil, Polomolok South Cotobato. I grew up in a farming community and was eager to learn so learned how to drive and found I had a knack for mechanics. At the age of 22, I married Soraida Bayao and we began life as husband and wife.

Our marriage was mostly peaceful and we were blessed with 3 children. In 1994 Soraida decided to accept work in Dubai while I remained in South Cotobato to tend to our children’s needs. It was during Soraida’s absence that I was introduced to Col. Datu Nasser Pendaitun (Col.P) who was a Philippine National Police (PNP) officer assigned as the Deputy Director of the South Cotobato Provincial Police Office (PPO). An acquaintance, a cousin of (Col. P) informed me that (Col. P) was looking to hire a driver and suggested I apply for the position. I began working for Col.P in 2003 through to 2007.

I parted ways with Col.P on amicable terms, the reason I decided to resign, was Soraida after many years of working overseas had decided to come home permanently. Upon Soraida’s arrival we purchased 2 trikes and Soraida opened a small convenience store, and we continued to both work to provide a better life for our children. I remained in contact with Col.P and he would on occasions ask if I could drive for him on long out of town trips, he would pay me a daily rate, and I would drive him where ever he needed to go, Col.P could relax in the vehicle as he was familiar with my driving skills and the cash in hand payment was extra income for us.

One day I received a call asking me to meet Col.P at Crossing Palkan, South Cotobato at 6.30am the following morning as Col.P needs to go to Davao for a meeting. As instructed I proceeded to the pre arranged meeting point and was met by a certain Eddie, a P.O-3 Damuli and Col.P in a maroon coloured Mitsubishi Strada. We proceeded to General Santos City (GenSan), upon entering the city they dropped me at Bulaong bus terminal and told me to wait for them. They returned within a hour using a 3 door Mitsubishi Pajero. I entered the vehicle and sat behind Col.P who was seated in the front passenger seat. I asked him why they had changed vehicles, he responded by saying ” just follow my instructions don’t question me”. He eventually stated his wife needed the Strada hence we were using the Pajero, I remained silent, but became increasingly worried as I realized we were traveling back to Cotobato which is the opposite direction of Davao. I then noticed we were following a maroon Toyota Hilux which I later learned was owned by Datu. Umra S. Nilong who was in the vehicle accompanied by 2 other males. We overtook the Hilux, cut in front of it and forced it to stop. Col.P exited the vehicle and began firing on the persons in the Hilux. Eddie told me to exit the vehicle and assist Col.P. After the incident we proceeded to GenSan and again they dropped me at the Bulaong terminal instructing me to keep quiet and they would pick me up soon. They picked me up within the hour, again using the Mitsubishi Strada, and we proceeded to Koronadal City to the home of Col.P where he changed clothes and said for me to relax they will report to Koronadal police office. They returned later that evening, and I asked permission to go home, Col P gave me 4000 pesos and instructed me to remain quiet regarding the incident that occurred earlier that day, I said I would and departed to meet Soraida at crossing Palcan, and we proceeded home.

Lake Holon, South Cotobato.

Approximately 30 days later I was arrested and charged with multiple murder. I was initially detained at Lagao, General Santos City. After 3 days I was transferred to Polomolok Municipal PNP station and after 1 month I was transferred to the South Cotobato provincial jail and remained there for 1 year. During my stay at the provincial jail, I was poisoned, moved to the government hospital where I was approached by Atty. Satur Jenuden Nilong the brother of the victim. He convinced me to enter the witness protection program (WPP) and he made arrangements with the Department of Justice (DoJ) for my transfer to Manila.

I was accepted into the (WPP) and was housed in a room within the NBI compound on Taft Ave, Metro Manila where I remained for six (6) years. I have never attended a hearing, and the case that I was a witness too seems to have disappeared into a black hole in the universe.

https://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.doj.gov.ph/witness-protection,-security-and-benefit-program.html&ved=0ahUKEwjhqYrnmtDXAhXJF5QKHT6HDuwQFggaMAA&usg=AOvVaw0I4JIhNkogZ_qZQaQYTeQ7

President Duterte came into power and assumed the reigns of government July of 2016. Out of the blue on February 23, 2017, I was arrested by the same NBI personell who had been protecting me for six years, and thrown in the NBI jail. I was informed that I had signed a notice cancelling my interest to witness. After years and years of waiting for a hearing I will be transferred again to the South Cotobato provincial jail and an uncertain future to attend a hearing as an accused not a witness……..

VFaB has been unable to access court documents, through independent sources we have however verified that Satar Mangilen was at the NBI WPP housing facility and was detained at the NBI detention center.

PO3 Damuli, was shot and killed in front of his wife and children, by unknown assassin’s outside a church.

Col. Satur Nasser Pendatun allegedly was a PMA classmate of General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa chief of the Philippine National Police

To witness or not to witness, that is the question?

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