Tue. Apr 13th, 2021

The government’s anti-communist task force on Saturday said the complaint filed by Karapatan against four government officials for red-tagging is a diversion tactic against the cases filed by the government against the  militant human rights group.

“These charges do not deserve the serious consideration of the Ombudsman, much less do they warrant a court trial,” the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Legal Cooperation Cluster said in a statement.

The NTF-ELCAC was referring to the cases filed in  violation of Republic Act 9851 or the “Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law (IHL)” against against National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, and Undersecretary Mocha Uson on December 4.

The task force said the cases against the four should be dismissed outright because the Ombudsman is not the proper venue to designated by the law to prosecute/ investigate cases of IHL violation.

“At the outset, we must note that RA 9851, excludes the Office of the Ombudsman as part of prosecuting agencies,” it said, citing Section 18 (Philippine Court, Prosecutors, and Investigators) that states, “The Regional Trial Court of the Philippines shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes punishable under this Act. Their judgments may be appealed or elevated to the Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court as provided by law.” SOVEREIGNPH

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