[Urgent Appeal] A human rights defender was denied due process and charged in court, notwithstanding procedural and substantive lapses in the investigation -TFDP

THE CASE OF MR. TEMOGEN “COCOY” TULAWIE, A COURAGEOUS HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER FROM JOLO, SULU

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), writes to inform you about the updated information regarding the case of Mr. Temogen Sahipa Tulawie, a human rights defender belonging to a Tausug tribe from Jolo, Sulu.

On September 19-21,2012 was the scheduled hearing of his petition for bail but was postponed because of the untimely order from the Office of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, granting the petition of the private complainant Governor Abdusakur Tan for the transfer of venue of the hearing from Davao City to Manila.

Earlier, on June 13,2011, the Supreme Court granted the request for transfer of venue. Dispositive portion reads as “ Acting on the Petition for transfer of Venue, filed by Temogen “cocoy” Tulawie, one of the accused in Criminal nos. (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3 from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Jolo, Sulu, to any court as this Court may deem convenient, and considering that there is an indication of actual and imminent threat to the life of the petitioner and his family, as well as his witnesses, as found by the Court of appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 00002-W/RA-MIN and there is reason to believe that continuing with the trial of the subject criminal cases in the RTC, Jolo, Sulu can lead to a miscarriage of justice”.

On 23 August 2012, the Supreme Court of the Philippines issued an order granting the petition filed by Governor Abdusakur Tan for the Transfer of Venue.

On 21 September 2012, the accused Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie filed a Motion for Reconsideration at the Office of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Manila and moves for a reconsideration of the above-mentioned order based on the following grounds:

1. The second change of venue of this case from Davao to Manila will result in vexatious and oppressive delay of the trial of the case and will cause serious violation of the right of the accused to speedy trial.

2. Herein accused respectfully states in clear and categorical terms that the criminal cases filed against him by Governor Sakur Tan is meant to cripple his human rights work in Sulu and to silence human rights defenders like him who dares to question the abuses and oppressive governance of the Governor.

3. Accused foremost concern is his security and safety considering reports reaching the Tulawie’s that the camp of private complainant has allegedly contracted out notorious criminal groups from Mindanao who are currently detained at the camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

The transfer of detention of Mr. Tulawie in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City will result to the risk and endangers his life and that of his family and his witnesses. It must be noted that the threat against the life of the accused from Governor of Sulu was well established in the earlier application for Writ of Amparo granted by the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao in 2009.

SUGGESTED ACTION

PLEASE WRITE THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PHILIPPINES TO RECONSIDER AND SET ASIDE THE FIRST DIVISION RESOLUTION DATED AUGUST 23, 2012 AND A NEW ONE BE ISSUED REINSTATING THE JUNE 13, 2011 RESOLUTION WHICH ORDERED THAT DAVAO CITY BE THE VENUE OF THE CASE. ALSO, PLEASE ASK THAT THE TRANSFER OF CASE RECORDS TO METRO MANILA BE HELD IN ABEYANCE UNTIL THE SUPREME COURT RESOLVES THIS RESOLUTION.

THE TRANSFER OF VENUE OF HEARING OF MR. TULAWIE WILL VIOLATE HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR SPEEDY TRIAL SINCE THE HEARING OF HIS BAIL PETITION WAS CANCELLED DUE TO THE AFORESAID RESOLUTION.

Thank you.

SAMPLE LETTER:

RE: A HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS AND CHARGED IN COURT, NOTWITHSTANDING PROCEDURAL AND SUBSTANTIVE LAPSES IN THE INVESTIGATION.

ISSUES AND CONCERN:

VICTIM’S SECURITY AND PROTECTION
VIOLATION OF HIS CONSITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF HIS CASE

Dear_______.

Greetings of peace!

We are writing to express my grave concern regarding the plight of Mr. Temogen S. Tulawie, a known human rights defender from Jolo, Sulu, Mindanao. We have known that after he was arrested in Davao City, the hearing of his bail petition was supposedly scheduled on September 19-21,2012 but was postponed due to the untimely order from the Office of the Supreme Court , granting the petition of the private complainant Governor Tan for the transfer of venue of the hearing from Davao City to Manila.

We were have also known that, on 21 September 2012, the accused Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie filed a Motion for Reconsideration at the Office of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Manila and I am asking the highest court of the land will grant the said motion.

We fear that if Mr. Tulawie will be transferred in Manila and eventually be detained in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig will cause and imminent danger of his life and security, due to the fact that he will be mixed with hostile inmates.

Therefore, we are calling on the Supreme Court of the Philippines with utmost concern to grant the motion for reconsideration filed by Mr. Tulawie to avoid miscarriage of justice.

We are also urging the concern government agencies to guarantee full protection of the law to Mr. Tulawie, who is a known human rights defender. He should be afforded with due process and uphold his human rights as per United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights Defender.

We trust that you will act favorably. Thank you.

Sincerely,
PLEASE WRITE TO OUR RESPECTIVE AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT:

His Excellency Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila 1005
Fax: +63 2 7361010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201/564 1451 to 80

Hon. Loretta Ann Rosales
Commissioner
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman, Quezon City
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Tel: +63 2 928 5655/926 6188
Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

Hon. Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno
Chief Justice
Supreme of the Philippines
3rd Flr. New Supreme Court Bldg.,
Annex, Padre Faura St., Ermita,
1000, Manila
Email: pio@supremecourt.gov.ph
sc.judiciary.gov.ph

Atty. Jose Midas Marquez
Court Administrator
Supreme Court of the Philippines
3rd Flr., New Supreme Court Bldg.,
Annex, Padre Faura St., Ermita
1000, Manila
Tel: +63 2 522 590 to 94
Telefax: +63 2 526 8129
Email: pio@supremecourt.gov.ph
sc.judiciary.gov.ph

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