Satur Files Complaint Before UN

Mar. 22, 2007

House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur C. Ocampo today submitted a four-page complaint to a United Nations special rapporteur pertaining to his arrest and detention on the basis of trumped-up multiple-murder charges.

22 March 2007

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of
human rights while countering terrorism
Geneva, Switzerland

The Philippine version of the Anti-Terrorism Act, euphemistically
titled the Human Security Act of the Philippines, is set to be
implemented in July 2007. Yet government authorities have already
disregarded the observance of due process and the rights of the
accused, in cases against government critics tagged as “enemies of the
state”. A clear example is how the government has treated the
undersigned, Representative Satur C. Ocampo, Deputy Minority Leader of
the House of Representatives and President of Bayan Muna (People First
Party), who has been charged with the crime of multiple murders that
allegedly occurred in 1984-1985.

The Philippine National Police arrested me on 16 March 2007 at the
Supreme Court, after I filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition
seeking to nullify the fabricated murder charges and the warrant of
arrest issued against me on March 6. The Supreme Court ordered a
hearing of oral arguments on the said petition on March 23.

Atty. Romeo T. Capulong, my lawyer, contends that the Supreme Court
intended that a hearing on the issue must first be heard before the
warrant is executed. Atty. Capulong argues that there is no need to
arrest me before the March 23 hearing, especially since I had publicly
stated that I would face the charges against me and would not evade
arrest, but asked for time to prepare my legal move to clear my name
on the murder charge. The government, however, insisted on arresting
me despite the Supreme Court order for a hearing and has confined me
at the Manila Police Headquarters.

Again, in disregard of the Supreme Court, at 3 a.m. of March 19,
police authorities woke me and told me that I would be brought to
Hilongos, a military-saturated town in the hinterlands of Leyte, where
the charge had been filed. I was manhandled and forcibly placed inside
a police van, and brought to the domestic airport, to the hangar of
the Philippine National Police (PNP). With my wife and Bayan Muna
colleague Rep. Teodoro Casino, I was put on board a private plane for
a flight to Leyte.

Yet halfway to Leyte, the plane pilot received orders to discontinue
the flight and return to Manila. This was because the PNP had already
received a faxed copy of the order of Judge Ephrem Abando of the
regional trial court in Hilongos granting my petition to remain in the
custody of the Manila Police District until after the Supreme Court
hearing on March 23.

I learned that in a Cabinet security meeting on March 18, the National
Security Adviser, the Secretary of Justice, the Secretary of National
Defense, and the Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
overturned the earlier decision of the interior department and the
national police to allow me to stay in Manila until after March 23.
Invoking the National Security Command, the Cabinet cluster ordered my
hasty transfer.

The Murder Case is Fabricated and Railroaded

The murder case against me is factually baseless and legally infirm.
The arrest order issued against me is a product of the fabrication of
testimonies, legal shortcuts, and the violation of my right to due
process. It is basically an act of pure harassment because it charges
me with instigating the murders in late 1984, twenty-two (22) years
ago when I was in prison under Marcos’ martial law regime.

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