NEWS UPDATES: Tulawie Case

18 January 2012



 On 13 January 2012, 11:45 in the evening, Mr. Temogen Tulawie was arrested in front of his children by combined elements of Military Intelligence Group (MIG)-Region 9 led by Sgt. Reyes, members of Special Action Force (SAF) headed by Supt. Fernando Ortega and members of Police Regional Intelligence Group-Region 11 based in Davao City at his residence in Catalunan Grande, Davao City.

 He was then taken to Talomo Police station for Police blotter and to Davao Regional Hospital for medical check-up. Afterwards, he was brought to Camp Catitipan, Davao City at the office of the Intelligence division for proper documentation.  He was temporarily detained at Davao City Police Office in Camp Domingo Leonor, Davao City.

 On 16 January 2012 he was presented to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City where a letter from Judge Betlee-lan Barraquias, (Executive and Presiding Judge of Jolo, Sulu Regional Trial Court Branch 3) to the Executive Judge of Davao City was read ordering the transfer of Mr. Tulawie back in Jolo.  A clear defiance to the Supreme Court Order dated 13 June 2011.  Portion of the letter reads:

 ”We wish to most respectfully inform your end that the bearers, Mr. Jun M. Abbas and Mr. Perfecto Canas, Jr. are Sheriff/process server and personnel of the Regional Trial Court of Jolo, Sulu, to serve within your jurisdiction in Davao City the order of this court to P/Supt. Michael Dubria, Chief Regional Intelligence and Investigation Division, Police Regional office 11, Camp Catitipan, Davao City, to deliver/transfer the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court of Jolo, Sulu, in criminal cases no. (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3.”

 It orders those who have the custody of Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie to dispose of the accused to the Regional Trial Court-Branch 3, Jolo, Sulu, “within the period of forty eight hours upon the receipt of this order taking the necessary security measures to ensure the safety of the prisoner during the transfer from Davao City to Jolo, Sulu, and to prevent his escape while under his or their custody to be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

 On 17 January 2012 in the afternoon, Mr. Tulawie was flown by the law enforcers to Zamboanga City and detained at Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)- Region 9.  On the same day, the Office of the Court Administrator, Supreme Court of the Philippines through Deputy Court Administrator Raul Bautista Villanueva sent an order for immediate action saying:

 “Please be advised that said order of Judge Barraquias is contrary to the Resolution dated June 13,2011 issued by the Third Division of the Supreme Court wherein the transfer of venue of Criminal Case Nos. (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3, both involving Mr. Tulawie, was decreed to be held at the Regional Trial Court of Davao City. Likewise, be advised that the Motion for Reconsideration of the above Resolution had already been acted upon and this has apparently been DENIED. Thus, with more reason that Judge Barraquias has no authority to issue his supposed order.

 As such, you are hereby directed to inform the police or jail custodians of Mr. Tulawie that any order contrary to the Resolution dated 13 June 2011 of the Third Division of the Supreme Court cannot be implemented.”

 It must be known that in October 2011, Hon. Judge Barraquias certified the warrant of arrest previously issued by Judge Leo J T. Principe on Tulawie’s case.  His action signified that the warrant is still enforceable even as the Supreme Court so order for the transfer of the case to the Regional Trial Court of Davao City.

 As of this writing, 5:00 in the afternoon 18 January 2012, Mr. Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie has safety arrived in Davao City and now in the custody of  Davao City Police Office in Camp Domingo Leonor, Davao City.

 Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas reiterates its calls: 

  1. To RTC Branch 3 of Jolo, Sulu to immediately transfer Tulawie’s Case Records to RTC Davao in compliance with the Supreme Court of the Phippines’ Order/Decision.
  2. To RTC Davao City to ensure a fair, impartial and speedy disposition of the case.  Take all necessary measures to ensure that the trial of Temogen Tulawie follows fair procedure and complies with national and international standards;
  3. To all concerned government agencies particularly the Military and the Police 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.  Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Temogen Tulawie while in detention;
  4. Immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Temogen Tulawie, and drop all charges against him as it is believed that they are solely related to his legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights;
  5. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in the Philippines are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

For the background of the case, please click the link: