DOJ asked to act on threats to Negros massacre witness

MANILAA group of lawyers on Tuesday asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to act on a complaint against individuals who allegedly threatened a witness to the killing of nine farmers in Sagay town in Negros Occidental last October 20 .

Accompanied by members of the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL), the mother of the 14-year-old witness in the killing of nine farmers filed criminal charges on Monday against policemen and the father of her son for alleged threats.

In a complaint filed before the Department of Justice by her counsel from NUPL, she sought the indictment of Vic Pedaso for violation of Republic Act 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act).

The mother, whose name was withheld due to confidentiality under the law, also filed charges of child abuse under Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) against Sagay City police chief, Chief Insp. Robert Manqueto, Senior Police Officer 1 Julie Ann Diaz and PO1 Christine Magpusaw.

"Complainant and her son have experienced threats from respondents, including the filing of trumped-up charges in Sagay City against one of the complainant's counsels. Thus, they sought refuge in Manila," read the complaint.

Pedaso filed charges of kidnapping against human rights group Karapatan over their alleged detention of his son, alias Lester, who reportedly witnessed the Sagay massacre.

He specifically named NUPL lawyer Katherine Panguban as the alleged kidnapper of his son.

The Philippine National Police has supported Pedaso's charges against the militant group.

Lawyer Benjamin Ramos, head of NUPL in the province, who assisted the National Federation of Sugar Workers in the case, was killed last November 6. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency