January 16, 2012

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

 

Re: Temogen S. Tulawie Case: A Human   Rights Defender denied of due process and charged in court, notwithstanding   procedural and substantive lapses in the investigation.

Dear Mr. President,

Greetings of peace!

We, at Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas, write to express our grave concern regarding the plight of Mr. Temogen S. Tulawie, a human rights defender.  We have been following his case and lately have known of his arrest in Davao City on 13 January 2012.  Prior to his arrest, he was already planning to voluntarily surrender and face the charges hurled against him.  Especially that, the Supreme Court has granted his petition of transfer of case and venue to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City.  He believes that impartiality and justice will not be accorded him in Jolo, Sulu.

Mr. Tulawie is a member of different human rights organizations working on various issues in Sulu.  His activities as human rights defender includes, public information campaigns, organizing peace rallies and peaceful protests against government policies detrimental to human rights.

Earlier, it was known that Juhan Alihuddin, a prosecution witness, had executed an affidavit on 29 June 2009 denying his previous statement allegedly taken under duress.  He also denied that a counsel represented him during the investigation, saying, the investigation personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) provided the counsel only after he had already signed the prepared confession.  He further stressed that the contents of the confession were false.

As of this writing, we are informed that the RTC Branch 3 of Jolo, Sulu has not yet transferred the case records to RTC Davao.

With this vital information, we are calling for a fair, impartial and speedy disposition of the case.  Moreover, we are requesting all concerned government agencies to guarantee the full protection and respect for human rights to Mr. Tulawie, as guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

We trust that you will act favorably on this urgent matter.  For the Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas, I remain

Sincerely,

Dr. Renato G. Mabunga

Chairperson

HRD-Pilipinas

 

 c.c.

Hon. Loretta Ann Rosales, Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

Hon. Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President

Hon. Leila de Lima, Secretary Department of Justice

Hon. Jose Midas Marquez, Court Administrator, Supreme Court of the Philippines

Police Director General Raul M. Bacalso, Chief, Philippine National Police

Hon. Emilio Gonzalez, Deputy Ombusdman, Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and other Law Enforcement Offices

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