HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATE 04 April 2013
Cebu City–A regional trial court here granted the civil suit filed by the human rights alliance KARAPATAN-Central Visayas against a state agent involved in initiating trumped up charge of kidnapping against the group.
In a 9-page decision penned by Judge Simeon Dumdum, the court “awards moral and exemplary damages, as well as lawyer’s fees and litigation expenses”, for “duplicity” in the filing of the said trumped up charge. It also emphasized that criminal offenses may also be filed against SPO4 Genaro Nodado “for violation of Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code, which penalized officers of the law who looked the other way when a law is violated.”
KARAPATAN welcomed the decision but clarified that financial rewards was not the motivation when it charged the state agents with a counter-suit.
“It is our intention to frustrate the government’s so-called legal offensive and to expose the militarist machinations to further downgrade the courts into mere appendage of AFP counter-insurgency plans,” said Dennis Michael Abarientos, secretary-general of KARAPATAN-Central Visayas.
The civil suit was in response to a fabricated charge of kidnapping the 79th Infantry Battalion first lobbed against KARAPATAN which was then investigating the enforced disappearance of farmer Calixto Alfante in Valencia, Negros Oriental.
The kidnapping charge was later dismissed by the provincial prosecutor for lack of merit. ###