Press Release – November 6,
Reference: Ruth Cervantes, Public Information Officer (Mobile No.
Desperate Arroyo administration resume persecution of human rights
defenders through renewed legal offensives
The human rights alliance Karapatan is outraged by the recent legal
offensive of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration against the legal
democratic organizations particularly in Southern Tagalog, including two
of its officials namely Karapatan-Southern Tagalog Secretary General Doris
Cuario and Karapatan-Batangas Coordinator Dina Capetillo among those
"The blanket charge of multiple murder and frustrated murder against known
human rights defenders in Southern Tagalog is a desperate move of this
bankrupt government to silence its critics," decried Marie Hilao Enriquez,
Secretary General of Karapatan.
As the GMA administration has to respond to the national and international
clamor to address the worst human rights record after martial law it was
forced to slow down on its killing and abduction rampage. It has however,
through the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG), continued to
fabricate criminal cases against its most vocal opponents.
On August 12, 2008, volunteers of Karapatan-Batangas discovered a
complaint filed by a certain Marlo Timbreza in behalf on Globe Telecom
Inc., against 27 leaders and members of progressive organizations in the
region in relation to the August 2 bombing and burning of a Globe cell
site in Lemery, Batangas.
On October 23, 2008, Atty. Remigio Saladero, KMU legal counsel was
illegally arrested by virtue of a defective warrant of arrest on another
trumped-up case of multiple murder and frustrated murder filed against 72
individuals involving an alleged NPA ambush in Puerto Galera, Mindoro
Oriental. Most of the personalities implicated in the Batangas case were
also included in this case.
Enriquez condemned the blatant violation of the victims' right to due
process when in the court hearing of Atty. Saladero, the provincial
prosecutor Josephine Caranzo-Olivar admitted that there was no preliminary
investigation conducted as well as when the names of the 71 accused were
included in the amended information.
Orly Marcellana and Arman Albarillo, whose loved ones were killed by state
security forces in Mindoro under the command of Gen. Palparan, are also
being charged along with the eight from the Tartaria 9, peasant activists
who were abducted and tortured on August 31 in Brgy. Tartaria, Silang,
"Under the Arroyo regime, the distorted priority of the criminal justice
system is evident in its moves to prosecute human rights defenders rather
than killers like Esperon and Palparan and thieves such as the 'Euro
generals'," Enriquez said.
Karapatan likewise called the public's attention to the recommendations
made by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary
executions Philip Alston to abolish the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group
(IALAG) that is orchestrating the fabrication of criminal charges against
activists and critics of the Arroyo regime.
The human rights group also called on the management of Globe Telecom not
to allow itself to be used by IALAG and Malacañang in the bid to
criminalise human rights defenders. It should now be clear to them that
those they have charged are the wrong persons and they should waste no
time in withdrawing their complaints.#
As part of its fund-raising acitivity,
these painstings and sketches were exhibited during the benefit dinner.
Those interested in acquiring the art
work can make inquiries with Karapatan,