PHILIPPINES: Police attempt to arrest a falsely charge activist whose arrest order had been cancelled


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAU-026-2013
ISSUES: Administration of justice, Fabrication of charges, Human rights defenders,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you that police officers attempted to arrest a labor activist despite a court order revoking the warrant. The policemen went to the victim’s house, harassed his wife and demanded that she disclose his whereabouts.

UPDATED INFORMATION (Based on the information received from Tambuli ng Mamamayan Network and Defend Job Philippines):

At 8 am yesterday, ( September 1) Police Officer (PO) Padua, who claimed to be attached to the Warrant of Arrest Section of the Las Pinas City Police Office (LPCPO), and three others, went to the house of Roy Velez in Las Pinas City to arrest him.

Velez is one of the activists who were falsely charged for allegedly killing ten soldiers and a civilian in Tinoc, Ifugao on April 25, 2012 and for the killings of four soldiers in Labo, Camarines Norte on April 29, 2012 in ambuscades.

Ithis video, Roy Velez talks about the condition of the worker and forced evictions from their houses in Metro Manila. Video and photo: Tudla Productions.

For details: AHRC-UAU-025-2013AHRC-UAU-036-2012.

Velez’ wife, Anna, met the police officers and asked why they were looking for him. But Padua yelled at her, and intentionally waved the copy of warrant of arrest on the murder case in Lagawe, Ifugao for the entire neighborhood to see. Anna argued that the arrest order has already been revoked, but they kept on shouting at her: “Where is he?! Where is Roy Velez?!”

When Anna asked for a copy of the arrest order, the policemen refused. They eventually left because the victim was not at home.

In our earlier appeal, we reported that on July 26, 2013, Romeo Habbiling, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Lagawe, Ifugao, made an order partly in favor of Velez and his three other co-accused, revoking the arrest orders issued on them. The court held the victims should be given opportunity to answer the allegations on them.

The AHRC considers the attempt to arrest Velez by law enforcers an attack on the authority of the judiciary. The action of the police is not only illegal, but intolerable as it ignores and undermines the power of the judiciary as the final arbiter of the law. The court has spoken; thus, the police, if they are, indeed, law enforcement officer, must abide by the law. The police cannot be a law unto themselves.

The AHRC calls upon the Philippine National Police (PNP) to take responsibility for the actions of their policemen, in particular PO Padua and his three colleagues. If no action is taken against these policemen, it would be a clear indication that the PNP, as a policing institution, have no control over the policemen they employ.

Unless this is corrected it will send a message to the public that the police can take the law into their own hands, disregard the judiciary and get away with it.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : AHRC-UAU-026-2013
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Administration of justice, Fabrication of charges, Human rights defenders,