PHILPPINES: Tortured and falsely charged activist detained for nearly nine years to be freed today


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAU-021-2014
ISSUES: Fabrication of charges, Human rights defenders, Prosecution system, Torture,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is pleased to inform you that the charges against Fernando Obedencio, a human rights activist whom we reported to have been tortured, falsely charged and held for nearly nine years, have been dismissed. The court granted his petition to dismiss the fabricated charges of possession of illegal drugs against him, and ordered that he be release from prison.

UPDATED INFORMATION: (Based on the information received from Moro Women Center Inc.)

At 8am today, the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 36, in General Santos City, heard the petition of Fernando Obedencio asking the court to dismiss the fabricated charges of the possession of illegal drugs against him. Obedencio’s counsel, human rights lawyer Dominador Lagare Sr., filed an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss on May 14, 2014.

For details about the victim’s arrest, detention, torture and the nature of charges the policemen laid on him, please read our previous appeals: AHRC-UAC-107-2013 and AHRC-UAU-030-2013.

In his Motion to Dismiss, Lagare questioned in detail the validity of evidence and the procedures on which they were collected by the police, and how the prosecution used them in the trial. He also questioned the failure of the court to ensure that the victim was afforded his right to speedy resolution of his case, notably the 180 days period from the filing of case in court.

Lagare further argued in court the evidence against the victim lacked merit, the procedures in the process of collection of evidence were questionable and his prolonged detention has already exceeded the expected jail term even if he was to be convicted.

As of this writing, Obedencio’s supporters, notably the Moro Women Center (MWC), are proceeding to the General Santos City jail, where he is presently detained, to assist the process of his release from prison.

The AHRC pays tribute to Obedencio and his supporters for their commitment, courage and determination in assisting the victim for many years. We would like to thank those who supported Obedencio in his struggle to clear his name and to be exonerated from the fabricated charges.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : AHRC-UAU-021-2014
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Fabrication of charges, Human rights defenders, Prosecution system, Torture,