December 1, 2018
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +639173162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580
Karapatan on the PNP’s refusal to release the Talaingod 18
Karapatan deplores the brazen maneuvers of the Duterte regime, to the extent of attempting to defy a court order, on the illegal arrest and detention of former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, ACT Teachers Party Rep. France Castro, and 16 others, who have already posted bail.
Judge Arlene Palabrica of Tagum Regional Trial Court issued a supplemental order categorically ordering the release of Satur et al on bail on trumped up charges of child abuse but the Philippine National Police was reportedly poised to defy this order, with many fully armed police surrounding the court house earlier, to take custody of Ka Satur, Rep. Castro, the four pastors of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines, and the 12 volunteer teachers of Lumad schools. As of this writing, Ka Satur and company have been RELEASED and have left the Tagum City Hall of Justice, though police vehicles are still following them.
What has the police have to gain with their continued detention of Satur Ocampo, France Castro and the teachers of STTICLC? Their brazen refusal to implement the law is indicative that the series of events were really meant to harass known critics of the government. The police are sticking to this ridiculous narrative, and it is evident of the real face of martial law in Mindanao.
Karapatan also assailed Malacanang for their statement referring to the “rule of law” in the case of the Talaingod 18. This reeks of irony and hypocrisy. If we were to follow the rule of law, Ocampo, Castro and the teachers would not have been arrested in the first place, and murderous military and paramilitary elements would not be within the vicinity of Lumad schools.
We strongly condemn these brazen attacks against Ka Satur, Rep. Castro and the 16 who aided the Lumad children, as we decry all forms of political persecution by the Duterte regime against human rights defenders and political dissenters.
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.
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