By RONALYN V. OLEA
(This is the conclusion of the post Cases of Extrajudicial Killings Under New Government Piling Up.
Part of Poisonous Tree
Dr. Julie Caguiat, spokeswoman of the Free the 43 Health Workers! Alliance, criticized Aquino for his inaction on the plight of the 43 health workers.
The 43 health workers were arrested on February 6 in Morong, Rizal, by about 300 combined elements of police and military. They were slapped with charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives and the military branded them as members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Aquino is part of the poisonous tree,” Caguiat said, referring to an earlier statement by Aquino. When asked by a reporter regarding his views on the case of the Morong 43, Aquino reportedly replied, “It [warrant] was for a different person… what was raided was not the person identified in the warrant and nor the location. Their only similarity has to deal with being the same barangay (village). So there really was a question in all the evidence [that was obtained] right away, I understand, there’s a concept in law called fruit of the poisonous tree — it can’t be used against the defendants.”
“Did someone inject anesthesia on you for you to be numb on the sufferings of the 43 health workers?” Caguiat said, directly addressing Aquino.
After Justice Secretary Leila de Lima submitted her review on the case of the Morong 43, the legal team of Malacanang also reviewed de Lima’s review and forwarded recommendations to the President. Aquino already said twice that he would let the courts decide on the case of the health workers.
“Lift charges against the Morong 43. Correct a patent wrong that you inherited from the previous administration,” Caguiat told Aquino.
While Aquino has not released political prisoners, the arrests of activists continue.
“Fabricated charges are becoming the rule, never mind if the arrest and detention are “fruits of a poisoned tree” …it seems the military can always have its wishes; maybe because the present Commander-in-Chief abets the wrongdoings of the institution he heads the way his predecessor did ,” Enriquez said.
Enriquez cited the arrest of four activists in Daet, Camarines Norte on Nov. 22. They were charged with illegal possession of explosives and inciting to sedition.
According to Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Para sa Amnestiya (Selda), 18 activists, mostly peasants, have been detained under the Aquino administration.