World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Philippines: Temogen Tulawie - Govt Must Take Responsibility

AHRC-STM-235-2012
November 21, 2012

A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission

Philippines: The Government Must Take Full Responsibility For The Safety And Wellbeing Of Temogen 'Cocoy' Tulawie

In September 2012 the Supreme Court of the Philippines approved the transfer of the trial of Temogen 'Cocoy' Tulawie for murder charges from Davao City to Manila City; and at the time of writing he is now awaiting trial in Manila.

Prior to this, in June 2011 the Supreme Court also granted the petition of the Cocoy's lawyers to transfer the trial from Regional Trial Court of Sulu to that of Davao City. The reason behind the petition was the very real threat to his life by agents acting on behalf of the governor of Sulu, Sakur Tan.

Temogen 'Cocoy' Tulawie was arrested on January 13, 2012 in Davao City in connection with a bombing and charged with multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder. He was forced to confess under torture and despite four sworn and notarized statements confirming his alibi the process of his trial has continued.

Cocoy's counsel applied for a Writ of Amparo which was granted. A Writ of Amparo is applied for when there is serious concern for the safety of the person named therein. In our our appeal: AHRC-UAU-031-2012, we stated:

"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 September 2012, the Supreme Court of the Philippines issued another order, this time granting the petition of the complainant, Governor Tan, to transfer the trial of the case from Davao to Manila. This order, however, is in principle contradictory to the earlier order of the SC granting Cocoy's petition transferring the trial from Sulu to Davao City due to security concerns.

By their acceptance of the application for the Writ of Amparo the Supreme Court has quite obviously accepted that there is a very real threat to Cocoy's life. The threat on Cocoy's life once transferred to Manila cannot be taken lightly. It is believed that Abu Sayyaf suspects incarcerated in the same facility with Cocoy will carry out the instructions of Tan. The question must then be asked as to why they have granted this transfer which was done at the request of the counsel for Governor Sakur Tan.

It is disappointing that despite the gravity of the threat to Cocoy, neither the court nor the prison officials had taken full responsibility for the safety and well being of 'Cocoy' Tulawie.

The Asian Human Rights Commission appeals to President Aquino to ensure protection for Cocoy. This can be done by giving orders to the Department of Justice (DoJ), which has oversight jurisdiction and control of prisons, for them to ensure that Cocoy's security and safety is adequately ensured. Should Cocoy be murdered, the court will have not only denied his personal right to defend himself, but also to give justice for those who were wounded in the bomb attack. The AHRC is confident that once Cocoy is afforded with due process and fair trial, the proceedings would prove his innocence from the fabricated charges. However, if the threat of assassination is allowed to proceed then Cocoy's guilt or innocence will be a moot point and the government and Supreme Court will have to live with their decisions and lack of action in saving an innocent life.


For further reading please see: PHILIPPINES: Trial of falsely charged Sulu activist now in Manila

Read this statement online

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news