The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been informed of a plot to kill a human rights activist, Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie, who is being prosecuted on fabricated charges inside the jail should he be transferred from Davao City to Manila. This plot is serious because the court has already postponed the scheduled hearing for his petition for bail and has not given him sufficient time to appeal the transfer.
On 6 July 2012 (AHRC-UAU-025-2012) we issued an appeal exposing the delay in commencing the trial of Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie, a human rights activist who is being prosecuted over fabricated charges. On August 3, 2012 the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 11, in Davao City commenced the hearing and arraigned the victim. Tulawie pleaded not guilty and at the same time put forward a petition for bail for his temporary release.
Judge Virginia Holifena-Europa of RTC was scheduled to hear Tulawie’s petition for bail from September 19 to 21; however, she postponed the hearing citing an order from the Supreme Court (SC) which granted the petition of the complainant to transfer the trial of the case from Davao City to Manila. The court has given the accused only until Friday, September 28, to secure reversal of the SC’s order in his favor.
After the bail hearing was postponed, the victim’s legal counsel immediately filed a petition asking the SC to reconsider its new order, notably for security reasons. The SC knew full well of the threat and risk on Tulawie’s life; however, this new order was in principle contrary to the grounds in its earlier order which resulted in granting Tulawie’s petition to transfer the trial from Jolo, Sulu to Davao City.
The threat on Tulawie’s life is very real. Previously, the Court of Appeals itself granted his petition for a Writ of Amparo, an order which provided judicial protection before his arrest in January 2012. Thus, their new order completely disregards the earlier one; firstly, the grounds on which it agreed to have his case transferred from Jolo, Sulu to Davao City; secondly, the decision reached in his petition for the Writ of Amparo proving the risk on his life.
In fact, before Tulawie is transferred from a jail in Davao City to Manila, the AHRC had already been informed on the plot to kill him once he is transferred. According to the source;
“…reports reaching the Tulawie are that the camp of Sakur Tan has allegedly contracted out notorious Abu Sayyaf suspects who are currently detained in Manila. A reliable source inside the jail in Bicutan has reported that they would be assassins of Cocoy are already preparing for his arrival in Manila.”
What you can do?
You can call directly the office of the Court Administrator expressing concern about this development and to request them to act promptly on Tulawie’s petition. The detail of Tulawie’s appeal for their reference is below:
Mr. Jose Midas P. Marquez
Office of the Court Administrator
3rd floor, Old Supreme Court Building
Padre Faura Street, Manila 1000
Tel. No. +63 2 525 7143
Telefax: +63 2 523 2315
Details of Tulawie’s appeal
Court: First Division, Supreme Court of the Philippines
Case No.: A.M. No. 11-4-75-RTC
Petition: In the Matter of Request for the transfer of Venue of Criminal Case/s Nos. (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3 entitled ‘People of the Philippines vs. Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie
Nature of the petition: MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (on the Resolution dated 23 August 2012)
The AHRC is deeply concern about this development. We will also write a separate appeal letter to the Supreme Court and to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders asking them to intervene in this case promptly.
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER