In search of missing activists, groups seek high court’s help

“We will continue fighting until the armed forces of Marcos Jr. surface our fellow human rights defenders. We will seek all legal actions and remedies to secure Loi and Ador’s rights and freedom, and to hold their criminal violators accountable." The post In search of missing activists, groups seek high court’s help appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource: bulatlat bulatlatAug 11th, 2022

Biden to sign executive orders on Day 1, amid high alert for inauguration

Joe Biden’s top aide said Saturday the incoming president would sign about a dozen executive orders on his first day in office, as police fearing violence from Trump supporters staged a nationwide security operation ahead of the inauguration. Authorities in Washington, where Wednesday’s inauguration will take place, said they arrested a man with a loaded handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition at a security checkpoint, underscoring the tension in the US capital which is resembling a war zone. However, the man’s family told US media he was a security guard, rejecting the idea he was intent on causing harm. Incoming Biden chief of staff Ron Klain said in a memo to new White House senior staff that the executive orders would address the pandemic, the ailing US economy, climate change and racial injustice in America. “All of these crises demand urgent action,” Klain said in the memo. “In his first ten days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world,” Klain added. As he inherits the White House from Donald Trump, Biden’s plate is overflowing with acute challenges. The US is fast approaching 400,000 dead from the Covid-19 crisis and logging well over a million new cases a week as the coronavirus spreads out of control. The economy is ailing, with 10 million fewer jobs available compared to the start of the pandemic. Biden this week unveiled plans to seek $1.9 trillion to revive the economy through new stimulus payments and other aid, and plans a blitz to accelerate America’s stumbling Covid vaccine rollout effort. On Inauguration Day Biden, as previously promised, will sign orders including ones for the US to rejoin the Paris climate accord and reverse Trump’s ban on entry of people from certain Muslim majority countries, Klain said. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward,” Klain said. – 500 rounds of ammunition – Meanwhile, Washington was under a state of high alert after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6. The assault left five people dead, including a police officer. Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists, possibly carrying explosives, pose a threat to Washington as well as state capitals over the coming week. Thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed in Washington and streets have been blocked off downtown with concrete barriers. On Friday night, police arrested a Virginia man at a security checkpoint where he tried to use an “unauthorized” credential to access the restricted area where Biden will be inaugurated. As officers checked the credential against the authorized access list, one noticed decals on the back of Wesley Beeler’s pick-up truck that said “Assault Life,” with an image of a rifle, and another with the message: “If they come for your guns, give ’em your bullets first,” according to a document filed in Washington, DC Superior Court. Under questioning, Beeler told officers he had a Glock handgun in the vehicle. A search uncovered a loaded handgun, more than 500 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the gun, the court document said. Beeler was arrested on charges including possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. But Beeler’s father Paul told The New York Times his son had been working as a security guard on the Capitol grounds. Asked if the younger Beeler supported a peaceful transition of power, Paul Beeler told the newspaper, “That’s the reason he’s there.” In addition to the heavy security presence in Washington, law enforcement was out in force in state capitals around the country to ward off potential political violence. Mass protests that had been planned for the weekend did not materialize on Saturday, with security far outnumbering Trump supporters at several fortified statehouses, US media reported. In St Paul, Minnesota, for example, hundreds of law enforcement officers, some armed with long guns, ringed the Capitol with National Guard troops providing backup.  The number of protesters totaled about 50......»»

Category: newsSource: NewsJan 17th, 2021

Babies have rights

 #ASKGOYO Atty. Gregorio Larrazabal Quoted below is the statement of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines: “The tragic death of 3-month-old Baby River highlights the need to do MORE, BETTER, FASTER in the justice sector quoted below is the statement of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines: “Baby River was born at the Fabella Medical Center on July 1, 2020.  Her mother, urban poor organizer Reina Mae Nasino, 23 years old, is a detainee at the Manila City Jail Female Dormitory who was arrested on November 5, 2019 at the Tondo office of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.  The police raids that resulted in the arrests of over 60 activists in Metro Manila and Bacolod were by virtue of various warrants issued by the RTC Branch 89 in Quezon City.  Reina Mae and two others were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives, a non-bailable offense. “Despite questions raised against the validity of the raids and arrests as well as petitions for the release of Reina Mae on health and humanitarian grounds or for continued breast-feeding, the frail and underweight Baby River was separated from her mother barely a month after birth. “The case went through RTC Manila Branch 20, the Supreme Court, back to RTC Branch 20, then RTC branch 42 and RTC Branch 37, and the Court of Appeals, until Baby River died on Oct. 12, 2020. “Manila RTC Branch 47 finally allowed Reina Mae furlough – this time to visit her dead daughter.  Despite many fully armed BJMP escorts, police and military personnel monitoring and accompanying Reina Mae, she remained hand-cuffed while at the wake. “The heartbreaking and brief life-story of Baby River compel us to raise these questions: “1. Why can’t our justice system safeguard the needs and rights of an innocent child to breastfeeding and a better chance to survive? “2. Why don’t our jails have adequate facilities to address the needs and rights of children and women detainees duly recognized by domestic and international law? “3. Why does it take so long to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights? “4. Isn’t there double standard when “bigger” detainees are allowed similar or even greater privileges? “5. Can we not have justice with compassion? “Let our concern, dismay, or rage and the tears that we may shed for Baby River Nasino fuel our collective determination and action to improve our justice system.  Let not our innocent children fall under the cracks.  Babies have rights and we have duties to nurture them.  Let our humanity rise above our personal comforts or the privileges of power.” DOMINGO EGON CAYOSA National President & Chairman of the Board of Governors *** We can talk about the law legal processes, and I’m sure many will.  But at the crux of all this should be:“What is it to be human?” Have we sunk so low that we’ve lost our humanity?  Have we forgotten what it is that separates us from animals?  Have we been numb to peoples’ suffering and death? Have we been stripped of our sense of morality and compassion that we have lost our appreciation of what is right and wrong?  People have discussed the trampled rights of the mother of the infant.  But what about the rights of the baby?  Stripping the legalese of the tragedy, we have to ask: What about the basic needs of the baby, as emphasized by the statement of the IBP?  There is no justification to being deprived of the love and care his mother, and the warmth of her embrace. The soothing voice to say she’s going to get better, and she’s loved…  Have we regressed to a point that we’ve been stripped of our empathy? More than the legality of this.  After the furor will have died down, and it surely will, I think we have to ask ourselves, “Where are we now?”  How low have we sunk and how to we get back up and regain some sense of decency? My heart broke when I saw pictures of Reina Mae Nasino covered in PPE, in handcuffs, unable to even hug her dead baby one last time.  I still cannot understand the inhumanity towards not only the mother, but the baby, who had done no one wrong, yet was treated with so much hate, disrespect, contempt, and derision for her to be born in this world, yet stripped and deprived of human love and affection.  I can never hate anyone that much to treat him or her so badly. I think we need to dig deep within ourselves and search our soul.  To find the humanity which has clearly been missing.  We need to find our moral compass, before we all lose our soul and drown in the abyss. Stay Safe.  Pray for Baby River.  Pray for OUR country......»»

Category: newsSource: NewsOct 18th, 2020

Rights groups slam MMDA spox for ‘drama serye’ remark on detained activist

Human rights groups slammed Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Spokesperson Celine Pialago following her “drama serye” remarks at detained activist Reina Mae Nasino who recently buried her three-month-old daughter River.  Kapatid, a support group for families and friends of political prisoners, said those who downgrade what happened to the political prisoner are only trying to “cover the government’s gross violation of human rights.”  “The story of Reina Mae Nasino and her 3-month-old child who died last week is not ‘drama-serye.’ It is a real story that exposed the countless injustices committed by the government,” it said in a statement released on Sunday.  “MMDA Chair Danny Lim, a former political prisoner himself, should have long shown the door to his spokesperson. It should be obvious by now that sensitivity cannot be taught nor proper manners and right conduct if one is empty-headed,” it added. Meanwhile, National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) President Edre Olalia was more restrained, saying they would “do the same thing if she was in Ina’s position and circumstance. “To start with, we will never ever wish this horrible tragedy and injustice to visit the Asec, her mother, her daughters, her sisters and her aunts,” he said in a Facebook post. Despite having nothing to do with traffic, Pialago felt the need to “use her voice as a Filipino” to share her two cents on Nasino’s case. “Hindi lahat ng inang nakakulong ay nakapunta sa libing ng kanyang anak. Kaya yung mga sumisimpatya kay Reina Mae Nasino, pag aralan niyo mabuti ang dahilan bakit siya nakulong at kilalanin niyong mabuti kung sino siya sa lipunan (Not all jailed mothers get to visit their children’s funeral. So all of those who sympathize with Reina Mae Nasino, study well why she was imprisoned and know who she is and what her role is in society),” she said in a Facebook post on Sunday morning. “Masyado ninyong ginagawang pang drama serye sa hapon ang paghihinagpis niya. Tigilan niyo (You are trying to make her grief like an afternoon drama serye. Stop it)!” she added. Nasino was five months pregnant with River when she was arrested in November 2019 for allegedly being found with firearms and explosives at the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Manila Office in Tondo, Manila. Her lawyers have insisted that the pieces of evidence were planted and that the charges filed against her are trumped-up. She gave birth to River on July 1 at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Medical Hospital on July 1. She and her baby were returned to the Manila City Jail 48 hours later. Before this, she filed a motion before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to allow her to breastfeed her daughter for a year at the hospital or a prison nursery.  But Manila RTC Branch 20 Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali denied this, saying that the jail has “very limited resources” for the care of her child.  Nasino was also among 22 elderly and medically-compromised detainees who filed a motion for their compassionate release amid the pandemic on April 8 before the Supreme Court. But months later, the High Court ruled that the trial courts will be the ones to decide on their temporary release. On August 13, the activist-mother was ordered to turn her child over to her relatives.  River was admitted at the Philippine General Hospital for fever and diarrhea on September 24. She was placed in the intensive care unit on October 9 where she died a few hours later.  A few hours before her daughter died, Nasino filed a very urgent motion for furlough so she can be with her child in her dying moments. On October 13, Manila RTC Branch 47 Judge Paulino Gallegos granted her three full days from October 14 to 16 to be by her daughter’s side during the wake and burial.  But the next day, he cut Nasino’ furlough down to only six hours from 1 to 4 p.m. on October 14 and 16 after receiving opposition from the Manila City Jail. The Manila City Jail cited lack of personnel, health concerns, and a guideline stating that detainees can only be at their loved ones’ burial and wake for a maximum of three hours. For both the wake and the funeral, Nasino was clad in a full set of personal protective equipment, handcuffed, and flanked by numerous uniformed personnel.  Tensions rose during the wake after her escorts tried to pull her away twice before her time was up, eventually escorting her out with 20 minutes to spare before 4 p.m. On October 16, Marites Asis, Nasino’s mother, had to kneel and beg in front of the police to allow them to hold funeral at 11:30 a.m. The cops wanted to delay it until 1 p.m. Police also sped off with River’s hearse to the Manila North Cemetery, leaving her family behind and thwarting activists’ plan to conduct a caravan around the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals before burying her at the cemetery. Nasino’s counsels at NUPL earlier said that they will file charges against those involved in the activist’s treatment during her daughter’s wake and burial. .....»»

Category: newsSource: NewsOct 18th, 2020

Court grants protection plea for 2 missing activists in Tarlac

The daughter of one of the missing says she's happy with Amparo but court intervention does not lessen anguish, fear. The post Court grants protection plea for 2 missing activists in Tarlac appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsDec 9th, 2022

Groups ask SC: Stop GMO rice, eggplant cultivation

Groups of farmers, scientists, environmentalists and concerned citizens have filed a petition before the Supreme Court to seek the issuance of a writ of kalikasan and a Temporary Environmental Protection Order against the commercial cultivation of genetically modified rice and eggplant varieties......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 5th, 2022

Can SC reopen Marcoses’ estate tax case decided with finality in 1999?

Supreme Court (SC) Can the P203-billion estate tax case of the family of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. be reopened despite the finality in 1999 of the 1997 decision of the Supreme Court (SC)? Possible, said Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The reopening depends on the composition of the SC and the issues and reasons cited by the requesting party, Gesmundo said. Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo (2) The Chief Justice said: “No decision of the Court is written in stone. The modification of the Court’s decision primarily depends on its composition. Like in America, there are conservative and there are liberal magistrates. “If the majority are conservative magistrates, it would be difficult to seek a reversal of its decision. If the majority are liberal magistrates, it would be easy to do that. “Our set-up is similar, each of our magistrates has his or her own opinion about a case.” Earlier, President Marcos Jr. had said he would want to reopen the estate tax case of his family because they were not able to participate in the proceedings since they were in exile in the United States at that time. The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) had sent last March a demand letter for the Marcoses to settle the unpaid taxes which had ballooned to P203 billion due to penalties and surcharges. In 1994, the Court of Appeals (CA) rendered a decision on the payment of the estate taxes. When appealed to the SC, the High Court upheld the CA ruling in 1997. The SC decision was declared final and executory in 1999. During the forum, Chief Justice Gesmundo explained that a decided case may be reopened on issues like blatant violations of constitutional rights of the affected party. “The Court is always guided that cases should be terminated at a certain point in time, it is called res judicata. But, if there are reasons so unique and the parties are filing a reconsideration or sometimes [a request] that the case be heard from a division to the En Banc, there is a possibility that a former decision or a prior judgment can be modified or reversed,” Gesmundo said. The Chief Justice also said: “So, it’s actually on a case-to-case basis. What is important are the issues being brought by the parties before the SC. Is it a question of constitutional rights so blatantly violated? “Then we have to take a second look. It really depends on the situation and on other considerations that would be presented before the Court to justify the modification or the reversal of the decision.” TAGS: #SC #CJ Gesmundo #Marcos tax case.....»»

Category: newsSource: NewsOct 26th, 2022

CA voids search warrants vs Baby River’s mother, 2 other activists

The Court of Appeals says the search warrants issued in 2019 that led to the arrest of three activists failed to meet standards, deeming all recovered evidence as inadmissible.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 5th, 2022

Rights groups hail dismissal of charges against UCCP pastor

“The pattern of the police’s use of search warrants, planting evidence and effecting the arbitrary arrests and detention of individuals like Pastor Dan Balucio is a glaring form of weaponization of the judiciary against activists and dissenters.” The post Rights groups hail dismissal of charges against UCCP pastor appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsAug 17th, 2021

Justice for those killed in search warrant abuses

Last week, the Supreme Court made public its amended rules on search warrant issuances and search operations, aimed at ending the abuses by law enforcers that have resulted in the killing of dozens and arrest of hundreds of activists in the past three years......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 16th, 2021

Can SC magistrates ‘seek the right balance’? A second look at the highlights of the oral arguments on the PH terror law

Will it be enough to straighten out its vagueness and overbreadth, as argued by petitioners? Or should the high court’s magistrates strike it down due to vagueness and overbreadth that can bring more harm than the evils it promises to destroy? The post Can SC magistrates ‘seek the right balance’? A second look at the highlights of the oral arguments on the PH terror law appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2021

Groups urge SC to act on attacks against rights lawyers and clients

“An urgent and decisive action from the Supreme Court is a matter of life and death for activists and human rights defenders especially now when we are being increasingly targeted in the government’s counterinsurgency and counterterror campaign for our work and causes." The post Groups urge SC to act on attacks against rights lawyers and clients appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsMay 19th, 2021

Groups press SC to prevent more deaths of political prisoners

"This function is within the High Court’s judicial duties to protect the right to life and health of those in government custody. They include the political prisoners like Joseph Canlas who had various comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension but was never tested for COVID-19 until he was brought to the jail’s quarantine section.” The post Groups press SC to prevent more deaths of political prisoners appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsMay 11th, 2021

After bloody Sunday, lawyers call for review of issuance of search warrants

“The multiple deaths resulting from the execution of search warrants, the claims that the police planted evidence in the course of the search, and the perceived misuse of court processes to attack activists and dissenters all demand comprehensive reforms in the issuance of search warrants and their implementation." The post After bloody Sunday, lawyers call for review of issuance of search warrants appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2021

139 lawyers make fresh plea to SC: Review, revise rules on search warrants

More than 100 lawyers on Monday wrote to the Supreme Court to propose amendments to rules on the issuance and service of search warrants in response to the killing of nine activists in bloody raids this month......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 22nd, 2021

Body cam a must in serving warrant

The Supreme Court on Tuesday has approved in principle a proposal to require law enforcers to wear body cameras when executing search warrants, in an apparent response to allegations that police used unnecessary force when they killed nine activists while serving warrants in Calabarzon......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMar 16th, 2021

HR advocates seek review of & lsquo;remote warrants& rsquo;

A human rights group on Monday asked the Supreme Court to revisit its rules allowing some trial courts in the National Capital Region to issue search warrants that can be implemented anywhere in the country......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 15th, 2021

SC urged to be proactive, provide safeguards vs templated warrants

The Supreme Court should look into the "weaponization" of the rule of law that results in not only arrests on what groups said are made-up cases, but also the killings of activists, progressive groups said......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 8th, 2021

Martial Law victims wary of Marcos return to power despite junked poll protest

The high court’s dismissal of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s poll protest may have concluded the dictator’s son case against Vice President Leni Robredo, but the public should still guard against attempts by the family to return to power, civil society groups said......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2021

Two of Human Rights Day 7 seek release order from the Supreme Court

Two of the six trade union organizers, among the dubbed “Human Rights Day 7,” ran to the Supreme Court to seek their release, alleging infirmities in the search warrant and violations of human rights in their arrest......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 18th, 2020

CA justice missing; search on

Angeles City—Pampanga police tracker teams have gone to areas where former Court of Appeals Justice Normandie Pizarro used to frequent after he was declared missing by law enforcement authorities Wednesday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 30th, 2020