MANILAThe release of former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and 17 others after posting bail proves that due process is being observed in the country, MalacaAang said on Tuesday.
Ibig sabihin, iyong due process ay tumatakbo at naoobserbahan (It means due process is working and being observed), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.
Authorities arrested Ocampo, ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, and 16 others on Nov. 28 at a checkpoint in Davao del Norte for allegedly kidnapping and trafficking students of the Lumads' school, Salugpungan Community Learning Center.
The Tagum City Regional Trial Court, however, ordered the temporary release of Ocampo and his group after posting a PHP1.4-million bail on December 1.
Last Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte backed the police and military over their arrest.
Ang policy ng Presidente sa lahat ng mga ganitong klaseng bagay (The President's policy in all these things is), the presumption of regularity always applies to every act, undertaking, moves by an official of the government, said Panelo, also concurrent Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.
Kaya iyong mga nanghuli sa kanila, kung mayroon silang basis ng pag-aresto, the presumption is regular iyon (That is why those who arrested them, if they have basis, the presumption is that is regular), he added.
On the other hand, Panelo said the arrested individuals are entitled to file charges against the authorities who apprehended them.
And since nandiyan na iyan sa office of the prosecutorsa ngayon nasa office of the prosecutor pa yata eh. Binigyan sila ng bail ng hukuman kasi karapatan nila iyon (Since it's now with the office of the prosecutor, the court gave them bail because that's their right), Panelo said.
So hayaan na lang natin na tumakbo ang sistema ng pangkatarungan dito sa ating bansa (So let's allow the justice system to work in our country), he added.
Panelo said Bayan Muna and other militant groups, such as Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Gabriela, should always work within the law.
He made this remark after Duterte said Bayan Muna, KMU and Gabriela are fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Kasi kung ginagamit nilang fronts iyon ng armed elements ng NPA, may problema tayo (If the school is being used as a front by armed elements of the New People's Army, we have problem). They will be violating the law; they can be charged (for) it, he said.
He said Duterte's remark linking these groups to the CPP was already a warning to them.
Meanwhile, Panelo said the declaration of a unilateral holiday truce with the communist rebels will be tackled in the Cabinet meeting set Tuesday evening.
We will discuss it. There will be discussion necessarily for any recommendation by any member of the Cabinet, he said.
The Palace official said a "permanent truce" is needed to finally stop 50 years of conflict between government and the NPA.
There should be no bloodshed, as far as the government is concerned. It's about time we stopped all this bloodshed. It's been 50 years, my God! Let's end the internecine (war) among Filipinos, Panelo said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency