Court denies mother’s plea for release

May. 12, 2015

DAVAO CITY – Human rights group Karapatan said today that the court denied the motion to release political prisoner Miradel Torres who has her five-month old son with her in prison.

Cristina Palabay in a statement said that Torres dreads the day she and her baby “Karl”  will be separated when the boy turns six months old on May 19.

Palabay said Torres was falsely charged with murder and frustrated murder. On April 13, 2015, the Quezon Regional Trial Court Branch 65 denied Torres’ counsels’ motion to quash for “want of merit,” citing the testimony of Pfc.  Mc Ronald Bamba.

Palabay cited Presiding Judge Arnelo C. Mesa saying the court found probable cause from the foregoing testimony of victim-prosecution eyewitness Pfc. Ronald M. Bamba.

Pfc. Bamba is a member of the Alpha Company, 16th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, said to be one of the victims of the ambush from which Torres’ case was based.

Palabay said PFC Bamba’s testimony “is unbelievable and inconsistent.”

“First, he failed to directly name Torres in his testimony. Second, he based the names he enumerated in his affidavit supposedly from the roll call done by the armed men whom he claimed ambushed them. It is unlikely that armed persons, after a firefight, will do a roll call of their names,” Palabay said.

“It is also unlikely that Bamba will be able to remember more than 20 names involved in the firefight several years after, and under such circumstances,” Palabay said, adding that they believe that the Philippine Army invented PFC Bamba’s story to prosecute their perceived enemies and imprison them.

Torres will now remain at the Taguig City Jail while her baby will be separated from her.

Palabay said Torres was four months pregnant and suffering from threatened abortion when arrested last June 20, 2014 in Lucena City, Quezon Province. Karapatan reiterated its call to free release Torres on just and humanitarian grounds.

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