FACT SHEET: Allan B. Rafael

Personal Background:

Allan Rafael, 35, from Dagami, Leyte, is a father to an eight-year old boy and the second eldest among five male siblings. He was born from a family of poor peasants who gravely suffered in the Yolanda storm in 2013.

Allan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Technology in Eastern Visayas State University. Before working abroad, he worked as a crew for various restaurants such as Dad’s, Saisaki and Kamayan in Quezon City.

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In 2012, he started working as a waiter in The Bellevue, a restaurant in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. For his outstanding skills, he was trained to be a chef by his employers. In 2016, after finishing his second contract, he returned to the Philippines. Eyeing a better future, he took the SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) training to qualify as an international cruise ship employee. While applying to be a seaman, he failed in the medical examination because he was diagnosed with Lymphoma.

Since 2017, while undergoing medication, he took residence in Manila with his live-in partner. He underwent chest surgery and was undergoing a series of chemotherapy treatments at the Philippine General Hospital. According to his family, he was close to recovery and was very optimistic of securing a new job abroad upon completion of his medical treatment.

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Case Timeline:

August 2 – About five in the afternoon, while driving a motorcycle, Allan was flagged by an unidentified police officer in Recto Avenue corner Loyola Street in Manila while he was on his way to fetch his partner in Malate, Manila. Rafael’s family got worried when he went missing that night. But trusting that he would never be involved in any altercation, their worry at that point was that Allan might have gotten involved in a motorcycle accident. They did not receive any information from the police regarding Allan’s arrest.

August 3 – Around 6:00 a.m, Allan’s partner was informed by a neighbor that Rafael was detained at the Barbosa Police Station in Quiapo, Manila. She immediately went to visit him while Allan’s siblings went to the prison in the evening of the same day. Allan narrated to his younger brother Aaron the details of his arrest. According to Allan, the police out of nowhere, appeared and ordered him to stop his motorcycle. He was apprehended by the police for no reason. The police showed immediate interest on the watch Allan was wearing and upon frisking they also noticed his Iphone. The police then asked Allan if his watch and cellphone are original items. However, since he kept on reasoning out with the police, he was taken to the Barbosa Police Station. Inside the police station, his belongings, including his watch, cellphone, wallet and motorcycle, were taken by the police officers.

Allan told Aaron that policemen in civilian clothing beat him up to force him to confess drug use as they allegedly found 0.43 grams of shabu in Allan’s belongings. Their drug accusation was solely based on his thin and frail appearance, even though Allan consistently argued about his medical condition. Allan suggested that he undergo a drug test to prove that he is not into using illegal drugs but the policemen denied his request.
PNP told the family that charges against Rafael would be dropped if they hand over P35,000 to the police.

August 4 – Rafael underwent inquest in the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office and was charged with “illegal possession of dangerous drugs.”

August 5 – During Aaron’s visit, Allan told him that his newly-operated chest was painful because of the persistent beatings carried out by the police. Although in pain, according to Aaron, Allan was still strong, resilient and optimistic. Allan was supposed to undergo his next chemotherapy on August 13.

August 6 – Around 7:00 a.m., Allan’s partner visited the police station to deliver Allan’s breakfast. But upon entry to the police station, she was surprised that her partner was not there. She asked one of the police officers about Allan’s whereabouts. One of the policemen answered that Allan was rushed to the emergency room of Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital after vomiting blood and suffering shortness of breath that morning.

Allan’s partner immediately went to the hospital and arrived at the emergency room past 8:00 a.m. She was once again stunned by the fact that Allan was not there at the emergency room. One of the hospital employees told her that Allan’s body was already in the morgue. She then went to the morgue and positively identified Allan’s body. Allan’s siblings arrived at the hospital past 9:00 a.m. Upon inquiry, the family found out that Allan was declared dead on arrival by 6:15 a.m. Aaron then took pictures of Allan’s body which showed signs of physical abuse especially on the neck, chest and legs.

Clueless on what to do next, Allan’s body was immediately taken by the staff of Cruz funeral parlor and brought to its own mortuary. From there, an NBI medico-legal conducted an autopsy of Allan’s body. The autopsy too was not properly sanctioned by the family.

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August 7 – Allan’s body was transported to Dagat-Dagatan, Caloocan City for the wake. On the same day, Aaron called for justice for his brother. On his Facebook account:

“Malakas pa siya noong nakausap namin nung Linggo bakit kinabukasan patay na kaagad? Bakit niyo ipina-embalsamo eh wala pang miyembro ng pamilya? May tinatago ba kayo? Dumating yung mag-otopsy tapos nang maebalsamo. Paano malalaman ang totoong dahilan ng pagkamatay ng kuya ko kung inembalsamo na agad? Bakit kayo nagmamadali? Umaasa kaming pinahahalagahan pa ang buhay dito sa Pilipinas at naniniwala kaming gumagana pa ang hustisya dito sa bansa.”

(He was still strong when we visited him on Sunday, why did he suddenly die the very next day? Why did you embalm him without our presence? Are you hiding something? He was autopsied after the embalmment. How would we
know the cause of death if he was already embalmed? Why were you in a rush? We’re hoping that life is still valued in the Philippines. We believe that justice still works in the country.”

August 8 – Migrante received news from concerned citizens about Allan’s case and immediately looked for ways to reach Allan’s family in Metro Manila.

August 9 – In a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the PNP denied that Allan was beaten up. A statement by the Manila Police District (MPD) sent by Police Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, Director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), was received by the media outfit saying:

“We would like to clarify that the detainee was not subjected to torture or inhumane treatment.”

“He was not slain contrary to the allegation of some.”

In the same report, it revealed that Aaron “claimed that the police officers stole Allan’s watch and forced him to withdraw cash from the bank before taking him to the Barbosa Police Community Precinct on August 2.”

August 9 – Migrante attended Allan’s wake and offered assistance to the family in their pursuit for justice. Migrante offered support in facilitating the re-autopsy and is seeking for an independent investigation through the Commission on Human Rights.

August 10 – Rappler reported that the NBI has started its investigation into the death of Allan. MPD head Chief Superintendent Rolando Anduyan confirmed this to Rappler through a phone interview.

References:
1. Accounts of Allan Rafael’s family
2. Aaron Rafael’s Facebook account
3. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1019645/former-ofw-dies-under-police-custody-cops-deny-he-was-beaten-up
4. https://www.rappler.com/nation/209268-nbi-investigation-allan-rafael-death-under-police-custody

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