LUPON, Davao Oriental – A peasant leader detained here is set to file a counter affidavit on Friday to counter the complaint of theft leveled on him by one Vivien Jubac, a land owner in Davao Oriental.
Lito Lao, 59, is assisted by legal counsel, Atty. Javer Jamulata, to file the counter affidavit tomorrow in a local court, Pedro Arnado, regional spokesperson of Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas, told Davao Today in a phone interview Thursday,
Lao is detained at the Lupon District Jail.
“His legal counsel will also file a motion to bail so that Lao will be able to post a bail bond on or before October 28,” Arnado said. If granted, the court would determine the amount of bail.
On Monday, Lao was arrested by police authorities while he was facilitating a farmer’s dialogue with land owners in Kapalong town.
(Read related story here: Peasant leader nabbed in Kapalong town)
Lao’s arrest is in connection to his qualified theft case filed by Jubac, Mati town’s clerk of court and daughter of his deceased landlord, Aniceto Jubac.
Lao is the vice-chairperson of the KMP-Southern Mindanao Region (KMP-SMR).
Aside from Lao, 12 other farmer activists were also charged with qualified theft for allegedly stealing coconuts from Jubac’s 10-hectare land.
Arnado said the complaints are trumped up and condemned the arrest of Lao, saying that “it is meant to intimidate him and apparently stifle the farmers in their attempt to fight for their economic rights.”
Arnado said that Lao had expected a court case to be filed against him for his activities to help farmers, but he said that his detention has taken a toll on his health and physique.
“He already accepted his fate with his case but he is more concerned of his physical and health condition as of the moment. Also his
family, relatives and friends are visiting him to check his condition,” said Arnado. (MART D. SAMBALUD/davaotoday.com)