NUPL takes ‘Oust Duterte’ matrix to SC

Robie de Guzman   •   April 25, 2019   •   2722

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)

Alleged ranking CPP-NPA official nabbed in Laguna

Robie de Guzman   •   September 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – An alleged high-ranking leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) was arrested by the military and police in Laguna.

The military on Wednesday identified the suspect as Antonia Setias Dizon alias Tonet, 60, who allegedly serves as secretary of the national organizing department the CPP-NPA, as well as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which is the communist group’s political arm.

Dizon was allegedly designated to the post, replacing NDFP Consultants Rafael Baylosis and Adelberto Silva who were earlier arrested by the authorities for illegal possession of firearms.

The military said Dizon was arrested by virtue of a warrant for the crime of murder issued by Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur Regional Trial Court Branch 7.

They served the warrant on Dizon at her residence in a subdivision in Barangay Rosario in San Pedro, Laguna at past 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

“Itong si Dizon na ngayon na nahuli siya po yung pumalit kay Silva na kung saan nga po itong si Dizon ay may kasong murder na finile sa Agusan,” Capt. Jayrald Ternio, chief of the 2nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office told UNTV News in a phone interview.

Seized from Dizon’s residence were a caliber .38 pistol, some live ammunition, 10 blasting caps, two laptops and subversive documents.

The Laguna police believes Dizon’s arrest is a big blow to the communist group’s operations.

“May significant effect ‘yan with regards doon sa benepisyo ng grupo nila mga movement organizations resources financial lahat nasa liderato ng CPP-NPA-NDF,” Laguna police director Col. Eleazar Mata said.

Dizon is currently detained at the San Pedro police station. RRD (with details from Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

SC overturns decision to disqualify Camarines Norte gubernatorial bet

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Voting 8-6, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (September 10) granted the petition of Camarines Norte gubernatorial candidate Edgardo Tallado who questioned his disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the last May 19 elections.

Tallado was allowed to run after the SC issued a Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) following Comelec’s decision to disqualify him from the race.

The SC decision, penned by Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, stated that the Court En Banc overturned the Comelec’s decision to disqualify Tallado to run in the gubernatorial race.

The SC Public Information Office will issue a copy of the decision through its website once they receive the official copy from the Office of the Clerk of Court En Banc.

Concurring with Bersamin were Justices Diosdado Peralta, Alexander Gesmundo, Andres Reyes Jr., Jose Reyes Jr., Amy Lazaro-Javier, Henry Jean Paul Inting and Rodil Zalameda.

Dissenting were Justice Francis Jardeleza, Antonio Carpio, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, and Rosmari Carandang.

Comelec had disqualified Tallado to run due to what the poll body says as questionable years of service as governor of Camarines Norte, pointing out that should they grant Tallado’s certificate of candidacy, it would have already been his 4th term as governor.

The law provides that gubernatorial post is only limited to three consecutive terms.

However, Tallado took his case to the Supreme Court questioning the decision of the Comelec, insisting that he is still eligible to run for the May 2019 polls as he was suspended from office in 2015 and was reinstated only in 2018.

Tallado won as the governor of Camarines Norte after garnering 149,002 votes against his rival Cathy Barcelona-Reyes who had 104,635 votes.

Comelec has yet to comment on the matter as it yet to receive a copy of the SC decision. — Marje Pelayo

PNP, AFP ready to wage all-out war vs Reds

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2019

Interoperability Exercise between the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Army during AFP Joint Exercise (DAGIT-PA) on August 2018. | 📷Divino Lozano

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday vowed they will be relentless in their fight against communist terrorists in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to wage an all-out war against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“The AFP is compliant with the directive of the President and Commander-in-Chief. We are engaging the New People’s Army all out,” AFP Spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said.

Arevalo said the military has been employing and using all its resources in a “focused, surgical, and deliberate lethal and non-lethal operations towards the decisive defeat of the communist terrorists.”

On Tuesday, Duterte reiterated his call on the government troops to launch a full-scale attack and end the CPP-NPA before his term ends in 2022.

“I am ordering an all-out-war against the NPA. If I can, I will end the insurgency problem within my term,” the president said during a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday.

“Walang hintuan. Magpalit-palit ‘yung isang battalion diyan na walang gamit na wala masyadong kalaban ‘yang ano…. Pagka-bone-weary na ang mga sundalo, palit na naman. Tuloy-tuloy. At kung maaari, lumaban sila nang husto kasi hindi ako magtanggap ng surrender,” he added.

The PNP, for its part, vowed it will launch swift and relentless police operations against communist rebels.

“The final push to end local communist armed conflict will be firm and decisive under the guidance and direction of the national leadership,” the PNP said.

“Police operations against the armed components of the communist terrorist movement will be swift and relentless just as it will be lawful and judicious,” it added. RRD (with details from Correspondents April Cenedoza & Rosalie Coz)

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