Human rights group Defend Southern Tagalog hopes that the latest Petition for Review could be granted, “to show that the Department of Justice actually understands the meaning of justice.”
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“In due time, the NUPL will move for reconsideration of the resolution and reassert that the police respondents’ theories — nay, fake plots — of self-defense and lawful performance of one’s duty are, under the circumstances, not compelling enough to overcome a finding of probable cause. They should be indicted before a court of law and made to answer for their crimes.”
The circumstances of Buiza’s arrest echoes the simultaneous police and military operations conducted last March 7, 2021, which resulted in nine deaths and six arrests across the Southern Tagalog region, dubbed ‘Bloody Sunday’. Six of the victims and three of the arrests happened in Rizal province.
Rights group DEFEND Southern Tagalog condemned the decision, asserting that the DOJ’s insistence on “presumption of regularity” is a “grave injustice.”
A Calamba court granted Nimfa Lanzanas’ demurrer to evidence over the alleged violation of illegal possession of firearms, explosives, and ammunition.
“These are not isolated incidents,” said Charm Maranan, Defend ST spokesperson. “These are coordinated attacks by the Philippine National Police, by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict to disenfranchise the people from their legitimate demands.”
To carry that weight is to carry on the struggles our comrades left behind. It is to continue the shared struggle that binds us despite our grief and loss, because what we carry is more than our individual wants but the hopes of the Filipino masses – the same hopes that so many of us have paid the ultimate price in order to make it a reality.
Both Lino Baez and Willy Capareño are no strangers to red-tagging and state harassment. The warrant issued against Baez came from the March 7 raid of his home in Santo Tomas, Batangas, where police and military supposedly “found” firearms and explosives. The raid was part of “Bloody Sunday”, which resulted in the deaths of nine activists and the arrests of seven others.
To date, there are 31 unionists who remain in detention for trumped-up charges and 56 trade unionists extrajudicially killed in the country.
Killings of environmental defenders under the Duterte administration account for 66 percent of the 282 recorded killings since 2001.
“For accountability and justice to hold sway, we press that a review be made of all cases that emanated from the sala of those judges who turned their courts into a search warrant factory that led to the arrest and outright killing of activists.”