RHRC Seeks the Freedom of 22 IDPs Illegally Arrested During Zamboanga Siege
Pasig City (June 4, 2014)—After 8 months, the 277 detainees related to Zamboanga Siege last year were finally heard. Presiding Judge Maria Rowena San Pedro-Modesto conducted a Case Conference in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 158 of Pasig City.
The Regional Human Rights Commission’s Chairperson Algamar Latiph and Atty Edy Lynn Santiogo, Head of BASULTA-RHRC, appeared for the 22 IDPs accused. Special Investigator Youseff B. Kamlian assisted in the handling of the case. For the prosecution, Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Fadullon and three lawyers appeared.
The 22 detainees are victims of illegal arrests during the Zamboanga Siege. The rest of the detainees are represented by Public Attorney’s Office. The latter acknowledged the receipt of RHRC’s letter two months ago requesting PAO’s appearance for the qualified indigent detainees.
The court favorably granted RHRC motion for the confirmation of the status of minority of the detainees represented by RHRC. Acording to the BJMP, they are now under the custody of the DSWD and their cells had been separated from adults detention.
The RHRC is hopeful for the speedy resolution of the case and, ultimately, the freedom of the 22 detainees.
The court imposed gag order against the counsels; they were instructed to refrain from discussing the merit of the case pending the litigation.