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Campaigns on Political Prisoners
Philippines: Arrest of a prominent Muslim human rights defender from Jolo, Sulu
On Political Prisoners
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 16:49
PHILIPPINES: ARREST OF A PROMINENT MUSLIM HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER FROM JOLO, SULU

ISSUES:
1.    FABRICATION OF CHARGES AND ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
2.    DEFIANCE OF THE JUDGE RE: SUPREME COURT’S ORDER TO TRANSFER THE CASE FOLDER TO THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF DAVAO CITY FROM REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF JOLO, SULU
3.    GROSS IGNORANCE OF THE LAW

UPDATE ON URGENT APPEAL   UPDATE ON URGENT APPEAL

Dear Friends,

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), writes to inform you about the updated information regarding the case of Mr. Temogen Sahipa Tulawie, a human rights defender belonging to a Tausug tribe from Jolo, Sulu.

On January 16,2012, Hon. Judge Betlee-Ian Barraquias, Executive and Presiding Judge in Regional Trial Court (RTC), branch 3 in Jolo, Sulu has ordered the transfer of the victim to Jolo, Sulu and wrote the Executive Judge of Davao City, defying the Supreme Court order dated June 13,2011.

Portion of the letter to the Executive Judge of Davao City reads” We wish to most respectfully inform your end that the bearers, Mr. Jun M. Abbas and Mr. Perfecto Canas, Jr. are Sheriff/process server and personnel of the Regional Trial Court of Jolo, Sulu, to serve within your jurisdiction in Davao City the order of this court to P/Supt. Michael Dubria, Chief Regional Intelligence and Investigation Division, Police Regional office 11, Camp Catitipan, Davao City, to deliver/transfer the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court of Jolo, Sulu, in criminal cases no. (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3.

Dispositive portion of the order, “ Wherefore, premises considered orders P/Supt. Michael Dubria, Chief Regional Intelligence Division, Police Regional Office 11, Camp Catitipan, Davao City, who is said to have custody of the accused, Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie or any person who has the accused, Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie to this Honorable court at the Regional Trial court, Branch 3, Jolo, Sulu, within the period of forty eight hours receipt of this order taking the necessary security measures to ensure the safety of the prisoner during the transfer from Davao City to jolo, Sulu, and to prevent his escape while under his or their custody to be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Fail not under the penalty of law.
So ordered.

But on January 17,2012, the Office of the Court Administrator, Raul Bautista Villanueva, Deputy Court Administrator, Supreme Court of the Philippines, Manila, sent the order, dispositive portion states;

“Please be advised that said order of Judge Barraquias is contrary to the Resolution dated June 13,2011 issued by the Third Division of the Supreme Court wherein the transfer of venue of Criminal Case Nos. (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3, both involving Mr. Tulawie, was decreed to be held at the Regional Trial Court of Davao City. Likewise, be advised that the Motion for Reconsideration of the above Resolution had already been acted upon and this has apparently been DENIED. Thus, with more reason that Judge Barraquias has no authority to issue his supposed order.

As such, you are hereby directed to inform the police or jail custodians of Mr. Tulawie that any order contrary to the Resolution dated June 13,2011 of the Third Division of the Supreme Court cannot be implemented.

If action has already been taken by them regarding the same, kindly advise P/Supt. Dobrea to cease in further complying with the Order of Judge Barraquias and any steps taken by them or any jail officer for that matter should no longer be carried out.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 16:50
 
TFDP assails judge for abrupt transfer of Cocoy Tulawie to Jolo, defying Supreme Court order
On Political Prisoners
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 16:44
January 18,2012

Press Release   

“TFDP ASSAILS JUDGE FOR ABRUPT TRANSFER OF COCOY TULAWIE  TO JOLO, DEFYING SUPREME COURT ORDER”

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), assails Judge Betlee-Ian  Barraquias in ordering  the transfer of Cocoy Tulawie’s detention to Jolo in defiance of the Supreme Court order. It must be recalled that the Supreme Court third division issued a resolution dated 13 June 2011, dispositive portion states, “that continuing with the trial of the subject criminal cases in the RTC of Jolo, Sulu, can lead to miscarriage of justice”. The court was ordered to transfer the entire records of the case to the Regional Trial Court in Davao City.

The Judge’s action and whimsical is open defiance of the Supreme Court. He should be held accountable and should be charged with conduct unbecoming and for gross ignorance of the law. Cocoy Tulawie’s case only demonstrated how the Judiciary and Executive conspire with each other.

Cocoy Tulawie’s case is not a common crime. He is a human rights defender, who fought for human rights and freedom for the people of Sulu. He has remained committed in his conviction for human rights and democracy amongst the people whose human rights have been violated.

The United Nation recognizes the works of human rights defenders just like Cocoy Tulawie and being a member, the state and it’s agents should uphold the United Nation’s Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. His case must be heard impartially and he should be afforded with due process.

TFDP is calling on the Supreme Court to immediately intervene and investigate the action taken by Judge Barraquias and if found guilty he should be sanctioned in accordance with the law.


RITA M. MELECIO
Deputy Executive Director
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
# 45 St. Mary St., Cubao, Quezon City
Contact: 09497215341
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 16:49
 
Civil Society to PNoy: Eradicate the shadows of Martial Law by releasing political prisoners and ending impunity
On Political Prisoners
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 16:08
Press Release
September 20, 2011

Civil Society to PNoy: Eradicate the shadows of Martial Law by releasing political prisoners and ending impunity

A day before the commemoration of Martial Law, leaders of civil society organizations urged President Benigno Aquino III to permanently eradicate the dark shadows of atrocities that Filipinos experienced under the authoritarian rule by starting with the release of all political prisoners, giving justice to victims of human rights violations and ending impunity.

“‘Tuldukan na ang labi ng pampulitikang panunupil’.  President Aquino should eradicate the remnants of political repression and broaden the base of Philippine democracy by releasing all political prisoners.  No better legacy can the President bequeath than implementing the principles to combat and end impunity,” Max de Mesa, Chairperson of PAHRA said.

Leaders of the two broadest formations of human rights defenders, the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), gathered in a restaurant in Quezon City to reaffirm their unified campaign against political detention and challenged President Aquino to stand on his parent’s legacy.

“The best way to commemorate Martial Law is to celebrate its downfall.  By reminding the public especially the youth that in those dark years of our history, there were men and women of courage who stood and fought against the dictator, there were human rights defenders who remained steadfast despite the harassments and killings, and freedom fighters who either were killed, disappeared, tortured or detained. The best way to remember martial law is to banish its vestiges in our midst -  stop human rights violations and end impunity,” Ricardo Reyes, Chairperson of FDC, said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2011 16:20
 
DOJ to reconstitute PCBREP to review the release of political prisoners
On Political Prisoners
Sunday, 21 August 2011 09:45
PRESS RELEASE
August 21, 2011

DOJ to reconstitute PCBREP to review the release of political prisoners

In a meeting between the human rights group Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and the Department of Justice this Friday, Secretary Leila De Lima formally ordered the reconvening of the Presidential Committee on Bail, Recognizance and Pardon (PCBREP) to start the review for the release of political prisoners in the country.

“We welcome DOJ’s decision to reconstitute PCBREP as a concrete mechanism to act on the releases of political prisoners in the country.  It was one of the concrete actions from the government to look into the plight of the political prisoners which the hunger strikers have been calling for,” Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director of TFDP said.

According to Amistad, the political prisoners in the New Bilibid Prison decided to suspend their 24 day hunger strike indefinitely last August 17 to give way to the dialogue between human rights groups and the government led by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and facilitated by the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC) last August 16 in Malacanang.
 
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