- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 588 Hour
- Reading permission
He said of the four torture methods – wet submarine, dry submarine, psychological torture and electrocution – that he was subjected to, it was the latter that he dreaded the most.|
A “wet submarine,” Castillo explained, was a trip to the latrine where his head would be pushed down into a commode filled with feces.
“Dry submarine” involved suffocating him with a plastic bag until he passed out.
He said he knew it would be electrocution if his captors made him sit on a sack on the floor and poured water on him.
Minutes later, he would hear the whirl of a hand-cranked dynamo, and he would feel hands attaching wires to his feet.
“It’s so painful. My whole body would shake, particularly when the electricity would reach my neck and head. It felt like my brain and eyes would burst out of my skull,” he recalled.
Shaking in pain, Castillo said his captors would make fun of him by drowning his screams with loud speakers placed inside the room, blaring Neil Sedaka’s song “My World is Getting Smaller Everyday.”
For nine straight days at the safe house, Castillo was stripped naked, handcuffed, chained, blindfolded, and made to sleep on the cold concrete floor.
The blindfold and handcuffs would only be removed when he would be allowed to eat. There was no way of knowing day from night, or what the date was.
The torture was meant to force them to admit their links with the communists.
“They were asking who administered my oath, who were the communist elements around me, how many of us took the oath, or where we held the oathtaking,” he said. He refused to answer any of their questions.
Several times, his captors, who wore bonnets to conceal their identities, would threaten to pick up his girlfriend and have her gang-raped.
“But I knew it was just psychological torture, because at one point during interrogation, they asked me the name of my girlfriend. I told them, ‘You’re saying you’ll have her gang-raped, and yet you don’t know her’.”
That retort earned him more beatings.
The most traumatic torture he was subjected to involved a homosexual captor, who fondled his genitals with baby oil. The torturer got mad when he did not get an erection, and poked his penis with a barbecue stick.
He developed an infection, which infuriated then MISG commander Rolando Abadilla, who came for a visit, and ordered him sent to the Camp Panopio military hospital in Cubao, Quezon City for treatment.
“Kabise (their name for Abadilla) was angry when he saw me shivering on the floor due to infection,” he said.
While recuperating at the hospital for 15 days, Castillo was chained to his bed and placed under guard.
When he recovered, he was sent back to the safe house, where he found his captors have become lenient. He was no longer blindfolded, was allowed to wear an old pair of shorts, and walk outside the safe house.
It was only then that he realized the safe house was inside Camp Bagong Diwa, near the dormitories of drug addicts undergoing rehabilitation.
The labor leader said he only managed to reach Grade 4. He spent his early years working as a sakada in the sugarcane plantations in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental.
In 1966, when he was just 15, he stowed away on a boat to Manila and lived with an aunt who offered to send him to school. He refused, and chose to work, taking on odd jobs until he landed at a steel mill in Pasig.
It was at the steel mill that Castillo discovered his knack for organizing his fellow workers. Soon he became their union leader under the militant KMU, eventually becoming KMU’s Area 2 chairman for the Port Area of Manila and Eastern Rizal, until the day the MISG raided their staff house.
“I’m a thoroughbred laborer. I worked at the Philippine Blooming Mills in Rosario, Pasig. I started there in 1976, and I was the acting union president,” he said.
When they were inquested in Rizal fon rebellion charges, Castillo pleaded with the fiscal, a certain Colonel Alsaga of the Judge Advocate General’s Office (JAGO), to transfer him and his fellow Antipolo 5 detainees to a regular detention facility.
Their counsel was then MABINI (Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc.) lawyer and now Vice President Jejomar Binay
“We told the court that our whereabouts are being concealed from our families.”
He said Binay managed to convince Alsaga to order their transfer to a regular detention facility. But the MISG refused.
“Although we were already brought in for inquest, they still kept on hiding us. We went missing for 60 days. It was the end of September that we were transferred to a regular detention center inside Bicutan,” he said.