Tue. Oct 15th, 2019

Karapatan claims arrest of alleged NPA members illegal

The human rights group Karapatan has insisted there were irregularities in the recent arrest of seven suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members in a checkpoint outside the city proper last Sunday.

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(L-R) Marifen Gregorio, mother of Jenny Ann Bautista alias Ka Helen; Kinem Rimbunan father of Vener Rimbunan alias Ka Bata; Karapatan Legal Counsel Atty. Maria Sol Taule; Casey Cruz, Karapatan-Southern Tagalog paralegal officer; Rutheliza Paragoso, mother of Ronces Paraguso alias Ka Rosa during the press conference for the #Palawan7.

(L-R) Marifen Gregorio, mother of Jenny Ann Bautista alias Ka Helen; Kinem Rimbunan father of Vener Rimbunan alias Ka Bata; Karapatan Legal Counsel Atty. Maria Sol Taule; Casey Cruz, Karapatan-Southern Tagalog paralegal officer; Rutheliza Paragoso, mother of Ronces Paraguso alias Ka Rosa during the press conference for the #Palawan7.

The human rights group Karapatan has insisted there were irregularities in the recent arrest of seven suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members in a checkpoint outside the city proper last Sunday.

In a press conference, Karapatan legal counsel Atty. Maria Sol Taule, also of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), said they will be challenging in court the legality of the arrest.

She claimed that the evidence against the suspects who are currently detained at the City jail were fabricated by military and police personnel.

“Una, may checkpoint sa Sitio Anilawan, Barangay Babuyan pero hindi sila sinita then another checkpoint ay sa Barangay San Jose and without a warrant pinababa sila at hinalughog ang van na sinasakyan nila. Dinala sila sa detachment ng military at binibigyan sila ng isang warrant of arrest addressed to many individuals pero ni isa ay wala sa kanila ang nandoon sa warrant,” Taule said.

She said that the warrant of arrest being served did not have the name of any individuals arrested.

“The warrant of arrest is for murder at wala ni isa sa kanila ang nandoon. They insisted na i-release sila kasi wala silang kasalanan but dinala sila sa police station sa Puerto Princesa. Nasa loob lang sila ng sasakyan around 30 minutes and then later on dinala sila sa San Jose at pagdating nila doon na pinakita ang mga di umano ay ebidensya, ang mga explosives at baril,” she said.

Taule also insisted that based on the law checkpoint personnel should only conduct a plain check.

“Kaya kapag siniserve nila ang mga warrant of cases ng arson at murder ay tataniman nila ng granada at baril kasi doon ay sila lang ang witness,” she said.

Taule vowed that they are ready to defend the seven individuals based on the truth.

“Yes, we will stand kung anong tama at para ma-dismiss ang kaso nila. Dapat mapabilis ang pagpapalaya sa kanila kasi hindi nila deserve ‘yon. Napakaraming irregularities nang paghuli sa kanila, una, sa checkpoint pa lang ay dapat hindi sila pinababa dapat plain search lang ang gagawin, walang pagkakalkal ayon sa batas. Wala rin silang search warrant. Pangalawa, mukhang sinet-up na ang lugar dahil pinag-initan sila doon na nila nilabas lahat at ina-attribute ang possession sa pitong ito. Napaka-irregular ng nangyari, common practice and notorious na ang AFP and PNP sa mga ganitong kaso, kung sa drug cases may ganito ay hindi malabo magagawa ito sa mga katulad namin na mga human rights activists,” she said.

Marifen Gregorio, mother of Jenny Ann Bautista, alis Ka Helen, denied that her daughter is a member of the NPA and the party wife of Bienvenido Vallever Command (BVC) commander Ka Allan.

“Hindi po totoo na NPA ang anak ko. Ang totoo nyan nagtratrabaho siya sa human rights. Halos dalawang buwan pa lang sya dito sa Palawan para mag-trabaho. Wala rin akong alam sa sinasabing karelasyon niya si Ka Allan. Hindi ko kilala ‘yon at bilang magulang alam ko lahat ng tungkol sa kanya. Hindi ako naniniwala na NPA ang anak ko,” she said.

Rutheliza Paragoso, the mother of Ronces Paraguso, also insisted that her daughter is innocent against the accusation being thrown by the military.

“Marami pong nakakakilala sa anak ko bilang isang matulungin na bata, kaya hindi ako naniniwala na magagawa niya ‘yon. Alam ko na hindi ganoon ang anak ko at pinalaki ko siyang maayos na tao. Ang ginawa sa kanya, umiihi siya pero inilawan siya tapos nakatutok ang baril, paano kung pumutok ‘yon edi namatay ang anak ko, doon pa lang harassment na ang ginagawa nila,” Paragoso said.

Earlier, the military denied that they planted the evidence against the arrested individuals.

“Ang hirap naman mag-plant ng mga ebidensya. Kami nga sa military ay naka-inventory ang mga gamit namin kaya paano nila sasabihin na planted ‘yon,” commander of 3rd Marine Brigade Brigadier General Charlton Sean Gaerlan said recently.

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