[From the web] Updates on the Bail Hearing of Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie case -hrdefender.org

Updates on the Bail Hearing of Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie case


Free Cocoy tulawie2February 4: Hearing on Continuance of Detention of Mr. Tulawie in Davao

Human rights group (Philippine Alliance of Human Rights, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya, and Balay Rehabilitation Center) assembled outside the City Hall of Manila where the Regional Trial Court is housed to express support to Human Rights Defender Cocoy Tulawie for his petition for bail and motion to allow continuance of his detention in Davao City Jail.

Due to information regarding the threats against the security and life of the Mr. Tulawie, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) guarded the City Hall building, placing its personnel at every floor. Mr. Tulawie arrived in a BJMP vehicle, with security escorts and safety gears of bullet proof vest and helmet. Mr. Juhan Alihudin who is detained in Manila City Jail and Mr. Abner Salahi Tahil detained Special Intensive Custodial Area (SICA) in Camp Bagong Diwa, both co-accuses were also in attendance.

Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar first discussed the Urgent Motion to Allow Continuance of Accused’s Detention at the Davao City Jail. She raised two salient concerns regarding the urgent motion: First, if Mr. Tulawie is waiving his rights to be present during court hearing if the ruling will favour his continuous detention in Davao City and second, will there be an alternative detention facility other than SICA in case the motion will be denied?

Prosecutor’s private counsel Atty. Wendell Sotto argued that there are no more security risks on Mr. Tulawie considering that the Court of Appeals already issued a Writ of Amparo and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is assuring Mr. Tulawie’s safety. These arguments were also stated in the Opposition that the party of Governor Tan filed against the Urgent Motion.

With regards to the alternative detention facility, Atty. Marlon Manuel informed the Court that the CHR will call an Inter-Agency Meeting with PNP, BJMP, AFP and DND to discuss the concern.

In answer, Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar ruled that the parties shall put their arguments and defenses in writing and submit them to court. The Defense is given 15 days from February 4, 2013 to answer the Opposition filed by the Prosecution. On the other hand, the Prosecution was given 15 days from receipt of the answer to file its reply. Then, the motion will be submitted for resolution.

On Bail petition, the defense manifested that they have not received Judicial Affidavits as required under the Order of Branch 19 dated December 07, 2012. Atty. Sotto argued that Judicial Affidavits are not applicable to the case because the Rules state that the same is applicable only to crimes with penalties of less than 6 years. Defense counsel Atty. Marlon Manuel, stated that the rules are applicable if the accused agrees to use the same irrespective of penalty. The accused in this case did not contest the Judicial Affidavit rule. Because of the absence of Judicial Affidavits, the Court reset the bail hearing on March 4 and 6, 2013 and expressed that submission of Judicial Affidavits prior to the hearing is mandatory.

March 4 – 6 Bail Hearing

On the hearing of the Motion for Bail filed by Mr. Tulawie last March 4 and 6, 2013, the Prosecutor presented a total of seven witnesses, five from the Military and Police and two self-confessed conspirators of the bombing, Mr. Sali Said and Mr. Mujibar “Bong” Alih Amon. Both witnesses were neither included as accused nor had been mentioned as witnesses on the charge sheet against Tulawie. Initially, the prosecutor informed the Court that they will present 30 witnesses but they only presented seven. The Police and Military testimonies made no mention of Mr. Tulawie’s involvement on the incident but just described the incident and the destructions as a result of the bombing.

Before Sali Said started his testimony, the Judged expressed concern of the content of his judicial affidavit admitting to his involvement on the bombing incident and other several crimes. She cautioned the Prosecutors that they may be jeopardizing their client with self-incriminating statements. Judge Malagar questioned the witness herself if he understood his predicament but the witness was unfazed.

Sali Said, as witness, executed two Judicial Affidavits dated February 25, 2013 and March 5, 2013. The first affidavit he said was not entirely true because he tried to protect himself from being included in the case or at least lessen his involvement. A week later he executed another affidavit because he said he felt guilty and finally wants to say the truth.

In both of his Judicial Affidavits, he admitted that he is one of those who conspired in the planning and execution of the March 13, 2009 bombing. He also admitted that he is an active member of the Abu Sayaff Group (ASG).

The witness Sali Said, orally admitted in open court and in the presence of the Judge that he is an active member of the ASG. He also admitted that he was one of the persons who kidnapped Ms. Ces Drilon (television network journalist) and Octavio Dinampo in 2008 but proudly stated that he has not been charged at all. From the records of the prosecution, Octavio Dinampo has executed an affidavit positively identifying Sali Said as one of their kidnappers.

He also admitted that he was arrested last March 2011 in a Port in Jolo, Sulu and detained at SICA, MMDJ Compound, Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City in relation to the kidnapping and the beheading of the members of the Jehovah’s Witness/Almeda Group by the ASG. This case is lodged before RTC, Branch 266, Pasig City docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 128923-H-A-E.

As per testimony of Sali Said, he admitted that the lawyer of Governor Sakur Tan intervened and helped in the facilitation of his release and he was accordingly released from prison last February 15, 2013. It could be noted that it is not merely coincidental that Sali Said was released barely two weeks before the bail hearing of the Tulawie case.

Said admitted that he is mad at Mr. Tulawie because he alleged that the latter caused the death of his cousin, another accused Sulayman Muhammad Muin. It can be recalled that Mr. Muin was killed while detained in Sulu Provincial jail by BJMP personnel allegedly for trying to escape. Juhan Alihudin, another co-accused, after the hearing mentioned that Said should have asked him and learned the truth because he was detained with Mr. Muin when the latter was killed in detention.

At one point during his testimony, Mr. Said excused himself to go to the comfort room and passed by hearing distance of Mr. Tulawie, he said “ Nakahanda na ang mga butas na paglilibingan nating dalawa sa Sulu” (The holes for both our graves are already prepared in Sulu).

Mujibar “Bong” Alih Amon, another witness for the prosecutor testified that he is a photographer, former driver and errand boy of the Tulawie family who lived for years in the Tulawie home. As a photographer he cannot recall the model of the camera he used, when cross-examined by Atty. Mary Ann Arnado of the defense legal team. As a driver of Mr. Tulawie’s family, he miscounted the cars of the Tulawie. As one who lived in the Tulawie home for years, he cannot recall the features of the house and are not familiar with the members of the family and even miscounted the number of Mr. Tulawie’s children.

He testified that he was hired by Mr. Tulawie to conduct “Plan B” to assassinate Gov. Tan for P3.5 million pesos as the first bombing was unsuccessful. He mentioned that he recruited tricycle drivers to help him implement the plan. However Plan B did not pushed through when the accused on the first incident were already arrested. He was also subsequently arrested as suspected member of the ASG involved in the beheading of the Almeda/Jehovah Witnesses members. Mr. Amon is currently detained in MMDJ Compound, Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig.

Mr. Amon also admitted that he was offered assistance by the Prosecutor’s counsel but that he refused and that he just wanted to tell the truth on the incident. He denied being a member of the Abu Sayyaf group.

After the testimonies of the witnesses, the Defense counsel motioned that the Public Prosecutor should include Said as accused in the Tulawie case because of his admission of involvement in the bombing. The Prosecutor said that there should be a complaint in which the Judge said that it should be motu proprio on their part. But the former is still adamant, thus Judge asked the Counsel to formalize the motion.

The March 6 concluded the bail hearing for Mr. Tulawie. The Judge will issue her decision on or before June 19, 2013 also the scheduled next hearing on the case. For the meantime, Mr. Tulawie will remain in Davao City Jail.

On both hearings, some members of the Free Mr. Tulawie movement observed the proceedings.

Accuser’s activities
A news report in one of the Regional newspaper stated that the Palace (Office of the President) intervention is feared on the Tulawie case. It mentioned that CHR has already declared Tulawie is innocent and that several NGOs are resulting to agitation tactics and lobbying with personalities to campaign for members with cases (see picture of the news clipping at the left).

There is also a regular picket during court hearings of Tulawie of young Muslim people of undetermined persuasions. When they were asked who they are rallying about, they said to stop the bloodshed and have peace in Sulu. Their placards are stating confusing messages that they condemn human rights violators and at one time stated that bombers and HR violators should be jailed. During their March 4 picket, they were referring to a news clipping. (Source: PAHRA)

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