Saladero, anim na lider-aktibista sa Timog Katagalugan, nakalaya na
NAKALAYA na noong Pebrero 5, si Atty. Remigio Saladero Jr., chief legal
counsel ng Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) at kolumnista ng Pinoy Weekly, mula sa
Calapan City Provincial Jail matapos ang tatlong buwan na pagkakakulong.
Kasama niyang nakalaya ang lima pang kasama niyang inaresto at ikinulong
na sina Nestor San Jose, Crispin Zapanta, Rogelio Galit, Emmanuel Dionida
at Arnaldo Seminiano, pawang mga lider ng makabayang mga organisasyon sa
Naganap ang mga pag-aresto sa pagitan ng Oktubre 23 hanggang Noyembre 6
noong nakaraang taon.
Samantala, nakalaya rin si Leonardo Arceta, lider-manggagawa sa Laguna, na
dinakip noong lamang Lunes, Enero 2.
Matatandaang bahagi sina Atty. Saladero ng tinaguriang Southern Tagalog 72
(ST 72), mga lider ng mga organisasyon ng magsasaka at manggagawa sa Timog
Katagalugan na sinampahan ng anila’y “gawa-gawang mga kaso” noong Oktubre
ng nakaraang taon.
Kabilang sa mga kasong sinampa ang frustrated murder at multiple
frustrated murder kaugnay umano ng kanilang pananambang sa kapulisan at
pagpapasabog ng mga cell site sa Batangas at Mindoro.
Sa mga naunang pahayag ni Atty. Saladero, ilegal ang pagkaka-aresto sa
kanila. Gayundin, depektibo ang mga kaso, maging ang paraan kung paano ito
isinampa laban sa kanila.
Inilabas ng Mindoro Oriental Regional Trial Court ang release order ni
Atty. Saladero at anim pang aktibista, tanghali ng Pebrero 5.
Sinang-ayunan ng nasabing korte ang pahayag ng abogado na hindi maaaring
pasama-samahin ang iba’t iba pagkakasala, halimbawa ang frustrated murder
at multiple frustrated murder, sa iisang kaso.
Kaya naman nagbigay-daan din ang korte sa sinampang motion to quash the
information ng grupo nina Atty. Saldero.
Ayon sa Executive Vice President ng KMU na si Joselito Ustarez, titiyakin
nilang “ganap na ang paglaya nina Atty. Saladero at maibabasura na ang
gawa-gawang mga kaso sa kanila.” Bagama’t nakalaya na sina Atty. Saladero
ay hindi pa rin binabasura ang mga kasong kriminal laban sa ST 72.
Ayon naman kay Joel Manglunsod ng Anakpawis Party-list, ang paglaya nina
Atty. Saladero ay “tanda ng paunang tagumpay ng mga mamamayan laban sa
terorismo ng Estado.” Gayundin, ani Maglunsod, “tagumpay ito ng mga
nakikipaglaban para sa karapatang pantao.”
Kaugnay nito, maglulusad ang Anakpawis at iba pang makabayang mga
organisasyon ng mas matinding kampanya laban sa Oplan Bantay Laya 2 na
target umano ang mga legal na aktibista gaya nila.
Nananawagan din ang grupo sa paglansag sa Inter-agency Legal Action Group
na siya umanong nasa likod ng “paggamit ng batas upang supilin ang
nagtatanggol ng karapatan ng mamamayan at lumalaban sa mapanupil na
Ayon kay Atty. Saladero, masaya siya ngayong nakalaya na sila at mahaharap
na muli ang mga usapin ng mga manggagawa laluna sa kasalukuyang panahon na
talamak ang tanggalan sa mga pagawaan.
Center for Trade Union and
Human Rights (CTUHR)
Rm. 702 Culmat Building 127 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Brgy. Mariana, Quezon
Telefax: 632.411.0256 email address: email@example.com
February 16, 2009
Reference: Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executive Director - , 09217158236
Maricel Saladero, FASC Spokesperson - 09084439039
Legal offensive strikes again, Atty. Saladero et al facing new murder
charge, to seek writ of amparo
Barely a week after Atty Remigio Saladero Jr. and five other activists
were released on February 5, from three month detention in Oriental
Mindoro on charges of multiple murders and frustrated murder, another
murder case welcome them, cutting the reunion with their families short
and halting attempts of resuming their work in their organizations.
Maricel Saladero, Atty Saladero's wife and spokesperson of Free Atty
Saladero et al coalition narrated that Atty Saladero was just beginning to
review his unattended cases at his office in Quezon city, when a friend
lawyer informed him that his name again appeared in a murder case, filed
in Rodriguez, Rizal province, (Southern Tagalog region) tens of miles away
from Mindoro. "We haven't thanked yet those who supported us in the
campaign for his release and here is another case, Maricel lamented.
The case involved the killing of Ricky Garmino, 37 and member of Civilian
Auxiliary Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU)—a paramilitary group- in Rizal,
allegedly by Narciso Antazo Aramil Command, also known as the
CPP-NPA-Rizal Command on July 29, 2008.
Except for Arnaldo Seminiano of IBM-KMU, the other Mindoro detainees
released on February 5 such as Nestor San Jose, diabetic Rogelio Galit,
Crispin Zapanta and polio victim Emmanuel Dioneda, and the rest of 72
Southern Tagalog activists were implicated in the alleged Rizal murder
In a sworn statement dated July 30, 2008, at 2:30 pm, Adelia Garmino,
victim's wife and complainant alleged that she saw her husband tied and
being taken outside their house away by more or less 30 men in soldier's
uniform and some were in civilian clothes. While her husband was
struggling he was shot by men whom she alleged as New People's Army (NPA).
In a separate statement, a certain Braulio Tambong y Bustamante, alleged
witness testified in a statement dated August 01,2008 that men and women
who introduced themselves as soldiers went inside the yard and killed
Ricky Garmino. When asked if he remembers or recognize any of them, he
testified that he was able to recognize the perpetrators that include Atty
Remigio Saladero because the victim, Ricky Garmino always mentioned their
names and features to him during their conversation. He did not say that
he had seen the accused before the incident, but was able to recognize
their names and aliases at the time of the alleged crime.
Ronnie Garmino, the victim's brother and witness to corroborate the
allegation of Adelia Garmino has a more fantastic memory. He testified
that prior to the killing, the victim was visited thrice by some elements
of the said NPA command and he was able to remember almost all of their
faces. Ricky Garmino allegedly warned him that he would be sentenced to
death due to his involvement in CAFGU.
He narrated that around 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon of July 29, he saw
his brother who was tied up and being carried to a stream where he was
hiding. He recognized the two men carrying his brother as Nestor San Jose
and Romie Aguilar, and the one who shot Ricky at his left shoulder as
Julio Atienza. According to Ronnie, there were about 20 NPA rebels who
accompanied Atienza in killing his brother. He identified the 70 names and
their alleged aliases, in the same order as they were written in the
information for the Mindoro multiple murder and frustrated cases. The case
is filed at the Rizal Provincial Prosecutor's Office, Pasig city, Metro
It could be recalled that
prior to Mindoro multiple murders and frustrated murders case, Atty
Saladero and 27 other labor, community, peasants and peoples organizations
leaders were slapped with arson, destruction of property and conspiracy to
commit rebellion in connection with burning of telecom towers allegedly by
the NPA in Batangas on August 3,2008. The 27 were also accused in Mindoro
"For a fulltime lawyer, a columnist, resource person in paralegal
training, a diabetic and survivor of two strokes, such allegations against
Atty Saladero are incredibly unbelievable if not plain stupid. You see a
pattern here, all the 72 accused except for two persons are the same
accused in Rizal murder case. This is an incredible coincidence, if you
can call it that. What is patent here, is a ridiculous desperation to
persecute Atty Saladero and other activists, says Daisy Arago, Executive
Director of the Quezon city-based labor rights organization, Center for
Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) and convener of Free Atty Saladero et
al Coalition or FASC.
It is really absurd that human rights defenders like Atty Saladero and
five others get arrested and detained for several months for trumped up
charges, released on technical grounds only to be surprised by another
murder case linked to an alleged NPA activity in another province and
forced to live a life on the run. The government's use and abuse of the
law may have spared the lives of the organizers, labor advocates and
leaders of peoples' organizations –- the same group of people who were
victims of extrajudicial killings-- to do their work in the midst of
unemployment, poverty and hunger. This tactic, however is immobilizing
them and this has to end immediately, added Arago.
Using the law to do illegal things
In a press conference held on February 6, 2009, a day after he was
released from jail, Atty Saladero stated that "Ang ginagawa ng gobyerno
actually ay nagpapakita kung paano gamitin ang legal na proseso para gawin
ang ilegal na bagay (What the government is doing actually shows how the
legal process could be used to do illegal things)."
"Hindi kami tatahimik lamang kundi mag-iisip kami ng paraan para huwag
nang maulit ang mga ganitong sitwasyon (We will not just keep our mouth
shut but will think of a way so that these situations won't happen
again)," Atty. Saladero added.
Meanwhile, the day the Rizal murder case was known to Atty Saladero's
colleagues, (Feb 11) police mobile patrol cars drove around Saladero's
office at E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon city. Tinted vehicles without plate
numbers and motorcycles frequented the area. Suspicious-looking men
watching the entrance and clients going inside and outside the office were
spotted. This reminded of the intensified surveillance placed on on
Prolabor Legal Assistance Center or PLACE office on October 2006 and 2007
by suspected Army intelligence units. The suspicion was confirmed when a
company guard arrested PFC Rommel Santiago, an army intelligence operative
who followed PLACE clients from their office in Quezon city down to
Taguig, a municipality around 30 km south of Manila, on October 6,2006.
Writ of amparo
"They will continue and will surely find way to detain them again," said
Atty Noel Neri, Saladero's lawyer and colleague at PLACE said during the
book launching of Atty Saladero's HUSGAHAN NATIN (literally means, let us
judge) a compilation of his articles in Pinoy Weekly last February 13.
To seek protection from the court, Atty Saladero and his group of lawyers
are filing a petition for writ of amparo at the Supreme Court, today,
The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) is an independent NGO
based in Quezon city, Philippines, engaged in documentation & monitoring
rights violations committed against workers. It conducts research,
supports advocacy campaign for workers' rights promotion and protection.
For more information, call or fax:632.4110256
or visit www.ctuhr.org