When Lascañas testified in the Senate on March 6, 2017, he claimed that he and his men killed Master Sergeant Donald Caigas. On March 8, Senator Trillanes reiterated this in his privilege speech on March 8. Trillanes said: “Si dating Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, through Sonny Buenaventura, ang nag-utos ng pagpatay kay Master Sergeant Donald Caigas na tao ni General Palparan.” (http://tinyurl.com/kujdmvo).
But who is Donald Caigas?
In June 2003, Donald Caigas was identified by human rights activists “as one of those allegedly behind the abduction-killing of their two colleagues in Oriental Mindoro [in April 21 2003].” Caigas is an army intelligence officer. In 1996, a warrant of arrest for robbery was issued against him by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jaime Salazar (http://tinyurl.com/kvr8bvv).
President Duterte’s Solicitor-General Jose Calida, who was then a Justice undersecretary, led the investigation of the abduction-murder of two human rights activists. Because of the investigation he conducted, Calida and his family “received threats through text messages and that his military security detail has been withdrawn.” (http://tinyurl.com/k97lsll).
Along with General Palparan and other military men, Caigas is one of the co-accused in the abduction and torture of the Manalo brothers in February 2006 “for being suspected members of New People’s Army” (http://tinyurl.com/m6fxdmh).
The brothers were able to escape and positively identified them. The story of the ordeal of the Manalo brothers could be read in this 2008 Supreme Court decision (http://tinyurl.com/k35v86m).
Caigas et al were also implicated in the disappearance of two UP Diliman students: Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan. Empeño, Cadapan, and a farmer named Manuel Merino “were reportedly seen in the rest house of Master Sergeant Donald Caigas of the 24th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Banog, Bolinao, Pangasinan in 2006” (http://tinyurl.com/mxpcyy2).
In February 2015, one of the Manalo brothers testified that Empeño and Cadapan “were hung upside down naked, tortured and sexually molested.” (http://tinyurl.com/kguuccu).
In March 2010, Ronald Miranda and Juliana Noquera, two folks campaigning for Jovito Palparan’s anti-communist Bantay-Partylist group, were abducted in Calinan, Davao del Sur. They were found dead several days after. At first, the NPA were blamed for it. They denied it. Palparan and Arthur Tariman tried to blamed Mayor Duterte for their deaths. Mayor Duterte denied involvement. (http://tinyurl.com/mjz29be).
Ronald Miranda it turns out was just an alias. Miranda’s “real identity was surfaced as Donald Caigas.” (http://tinyurl.com/kl2ynk8).
In March 2017, Lascañas claimed that he along with his men abducted and killed Caigas. Trillanes reiterated what Lascañas said: Mayor Duterte, through Sonny Buenaventura, ordered the killing of Caigas.
Yet in July 2011, GMA 7 reported: “Col. Domingo Tutaan, chief of the Armed Forces’ Human Rights Office, said retired M/Sgt. Donald Caigas passed away [in 2010] due to a lingering illness. Tutaan said they have already submitted to the Department of Justice, which is conducting preliminary investigation on the case, the certification proving Caigas’ death.” (http://tinyurl.com/kv7anzz). Inqurer reported the same thing: “Tutaan disclosed that Caigas had retired before he died of sickness sometime [in 2010]” (http://tinyurl.com/lhsk7w2).
So if Caigas died due to a “lingering illness” how could Lascañas have killed him?