Atty. Manuel Quibod, one of the legal counsels of the activists charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention of indigenous peoples here, says they already filed a motion requesting the court to lift the warrant of arrest against the accused after the Department of Justice issued a resolution on Monday, July 18 dismissing the case. (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/

DAVAO CITY — Activists who were acquitted of kidnapping charge are planning to file counter charges against the military who allegedly manufactured the complaints filed against them.

Atty. Manuel Quibod, one of the activists’ legal counsels, said they are still yet to discuss on what appropriate charges will be filed.

“I could not preempt what would be their plan, but from our last conversation, last week in Manila, that was the intention, to file a case against those who are really responsible. Not necessarily the complainants involving this case kay gigamit lang man ni sila (because they were just used),” he told reporters during a press conference held inside the United Church of Christ in the Philippines Haran compound on Wednesday morning.

Quibod said the warrant has currently suspended “in so far as the implementation of the warrant of arrest pending the resolution from the DOJ (Department of Justice).”

“Now that the DOJ has issued the resolution, we will resume the case,” he said.

Counter charges

Quibod said aside from the “Haran 15”, they will also meet with the complainants to determine who “forced” them to file the charges.

“One of the complainants, Tata Angkomog Lundia, committed suicide because of threats against him,” said Quibod.

“Based on records they signed sometime February (2015), he committed suicide sometime May,” said Quibod.

Quibod said the complainants identified Datu Nestor Apas, Datu Lumansad Sibogan and the military forced them to file the charges. He said during his interview with one of the complainants, he was told that they were brought to the Army headquarters in Panacan here.

“In their affidavit of desistance and recantation I clarified to them whether it is true that they were forced by those people to file charges and they really confirmed it,” he said.

‘Only 23 kidnapped’

Meanwhile, Apas told Davao Today in a telephone interview that the kidnapping of the Lumads does not involved all the 700 IP evacuees, but only “23 residents from Sitio Inayaman Barangay San Jose, San Fernando Bukidnon.”

He said the Lumads were asked to ride a jeep or bus and go to Davao City because then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte along with other officials will give P3,000.

“They were told that they will only be in Davao City for three days, but they stayed there for almost a month already,” he said.

Apas said because of the incident, a certain Lito “Lolong” Lundia committed suicide inside the compound and the activists were forced to allow the residents of Sitio Inayaman to go home.

“That’s when the relatives of Lundia reacted and we advised them to file charges,” he said.

He said they do not agree with the dismissal of the case since it was their “relatives” who were affected.

He also denied that he is one of the “masterminds” of the filing of charges against the activists. He said what they did was “a role of a Datu” in assisting the complainants.

Apas also said that after filing the charges, the complainants “were arrested by the New People’s Army”.

“They were freed and were asked to sign documents which they do not understand,” he said in vernacular.

Dismissed case

The DOJ dismissed the charges against the accused after the complainants executed their affidavits of recantation and desistance last week.

In a DOJ resolution dated July 18, the DOJ said: “With the desistance and recantation of ALL the complainants in this case, however, it has become apparent to the undersigned that, in this case, there has been no deprivation of liberty committed by the respondents upon the complainants.” The resolution was signed by Prosecution Attorney Loverhette Jeffrey P. Villordon, Acting City Prosecutor of Davao City.

The defendants camp filed on Tuesday, the Manifestion with Motion informing the Regional Trial Court 10 and the City Prosecutors Office of the DOJ resolution. They also requested the City Prosecutors Office “to withdraw criminal information and for the court to recall and quash warrant of arrest,” said Quibod.

Quibod said they expect the case to be called by August 1 when the court resumes. (

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