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Karapatan faces kidnap raps over custody of Sagay massacre witness

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

One of the slain farmers in the Sagay massacre

 

The Sagay City Police filed charges against human rights group Karapatan for the alleged kidnapping of 14-year-old witness to the massacre of nine farmers in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.

Prior to this, Philippine Army 303rd Infantry Brigade commander Col. Benedict Arevalo previously reported that it was the teen’s father, Vic Pedoso, who filed the kidnapping complaint and serious detention against a certain Atty. Panguban of the National Union of Pilipino Lawyers (NUPL) and the group Karapatan.

According to the military, NULP and Karapatan initially attempted to take the witness away from the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) by using people who pretended to be the child’s grandparents.

When that did not work, the groups allegedly convinced the child’s mother to force the DSWD to turn over custody of the witness to NULP and Karapatan.

However, the child’s father objected to the transfer of custody as it was done without his consent. This prompted him to file a kidnapping case against the lawyer and Karapatan.

PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said it is not fair to give the group custody over a child who is not their relative and then suppress him from testifying.

At present, Albayalde said he is not sure of the child’s location.  — Lea Ylagan

 

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SC issues writ of amparo in favor of rights groups

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 30th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a writ of amparo and habeas data in favor of human rights groups Karapatan, Gabriela and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines against what they claimed as threats against their lives from government troops.

In a resolution dated May 24 but made public on Thursday, the SC directed President Rodrigo Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other officials from Malacañang and the military and police to comment on petition and file a verified return before the Court of Appeals (CA) by June 13.

A writ of amparo is a legal remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is threatened or violated by public officials or private individuals.

A writ of habeas data covers similar threats or violations but by persons who are engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of information or personal data of the aggrieved party.

The high court also directed the CA to hear the petition on June 18 and resolve the case in 10 days after the hearing.

Last May 6, Karapatan, Gabriela and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines filed the petition, seeking SC’s protection from alleged threats against their members’ lives after they were tagged by the government as alleged fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

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NUPL takes ‘Oust Duterte’ matrix to SC

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) has taken the issue of the alleged “oust-Duterte” matrix to the Supreme Court to justify its plea for protection from alleged harassment by government forces.

In a manifestation filed by mail late Wednesday, the group cited its inclusion in the Association between Bikoy and Ellen Tordesillas which shows the names of organizations, journalists and lawyers said to be involved in the black propaganda against President Rodrigo Duterte by publishing and distributing online videos which contain the alleged involvement of the Duterte family in the narcotics trade.

The petition was filed following the release of the matrix last Monday tagging the group in the alleged destabilization plot against the Duterte government.

The group told the Supreme Court in its pleading that the “baseless and reckless” claim against their group and others named in the matrix is proof of intimidation and harassment.

“These malicious statements and dangerous claims, as well as the contrived matrix above, baseless and reckless as they are, compel the petitioners to again seek this time for the Honorable Court’s protection and reiterate their prayer for a temporary protection order,” the group said.

“Petitioners simply chose to practice the ideals of the legal profession by rendering services to the underprivileged as mandated by our oath and by legal, constitutional and international principles,” it added.

The matrix shows the supposed links between NUPL, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), Vera Files, Rappler and other media groups and personalities. The groups were also accused of distributing the “Totoong Narco list” videos.

The lawyers’ group earlier sought protection from the High Tribunal through the issuance of a writ of amparo and writ of habeas data.

The group claims that the military harassed their members after they were accused of being part of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (NPA).

In its SC manifestation, the NUPL named as respondents Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade, President Rodrigo Duterte, National Security Adviser and National Security Council Director Hermogenes Esperon, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, deputy commander for intelligence Brig. Gen. Fernando Trinidad, Intelligence service chief Maj. Gen. Erwin Bernard Neri and Philippine Army commanding General Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Mai Bermudez)

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Police accused by Sagay massacre survivors of compelling to testify vs. NPA

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

 

Survivors of Sagay massacre

MANILA, Philippines — Covering themselves with a malong and wearing a face mask are mother and son who survived the Sagay massacre where 9 farmers, four women, and two minors were killed by armed men at Hacienda Nene, Purok Pine Tree, Brgy. Bulanon, Sagay City on October 20.

The mother who survived the massacre is accusing authorities of compelling her son, Lester, to testify against the New People’s Army (NPA) and prove that the group was behind the Sagay massacre.

Lester’s mom fears that police will use his son to pinpoint innocent individuals.

“Kahit military nagsasabi rin na, the child can pinpoint na NPA daw ang gumawa nung massacre,” said Atty. Kathy Panguban, legal counsel of the survivors.

“Kaya lumayo iyong mag-ina sa Negros at nag-seek talaga sila ng sanctuary dahil patuloy silang hinahabol ng mga pulis, pinipilit na gawing star witness sa Sagay massacre,” she said.

The Sagay Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and two of his personnel are facing violation of Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, an allegation denied by the Sagay police.

“Wala kaming ginawang ganoon, ‘yung pinipilit. Wala kaming pinipilit na tao. ‘Yung allegation na iyan is actually fabricated iyan. Bakit naman namin pipilitin iyong bata? Tapos iyong bata po noong ininterview, pagsubscribe sa affidavit, nandoon iyong mismong prosecutor. Nandoon iyong ama at saka iyong DSWD na nagpasubscribe ng statement niya. Doon pa lang mismo malalaman na namin. May video kami niyan,” said Sagay City police chief PCI Robert Mansueto via phonepatch.

“Yung statement na NPA ang gumawa ng Sagay massacre, that came from the army infantry brigade,” said Panguban.

Lester’s biological father meantime is facing charges of violation of Republic Act 9262 or Violence Against Women and Children over the alleged abuse and harassment against his child and for forcing them to cooperate with the police.

“Nagpapatuloy iyong pananakot niya sa kliyente namin sa kanilang ina at pinipilit niyang makuha iyong anak; mabawi iyong anak at tinakot din niya na kakasuhan din daw niya pati iyong nanay ni Lester,” said Panguban.

As of now, the survivors are in a safe place.

The victims in the massacre were members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NSFW) who were participating in a campaign to occupy the idle lands which are not yet distributed to the beneficiaries. — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

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