November 13, 2018
Regional women’s rights group Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development has condemned the filing of kidnapping and illegal detention charges against lawyer Katherine Panguban and is calling for them to be dropped.
The charges against Panguban, a member of the National Union of People’s Lawyers, were filed by the biological father of “Lester,” the 14-year-old witness of the October 20 Sagay massacre, where nine sugar plantation workers were murdered in a hacienda in Negros Occidental.
READ: 9 sugar workers slain in Negros Occidental hacienda shares
“APWLD demands that the politically motivated charges against Ms. Panguban to be dropped immediately and for the murders of Benjamin Ramos and the nine farmers to be independently investigated,” they said in the statement.
According to the APWLD statement, the father is “widely believed to be in the control of the police and military.”
Police officials said earlier this month that they support the filing of charges. “It’s not right to get the kid if you’re not related and curtail his liberty,” Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde was quoted in a GMA News Online report on November 5. “We need the whereabouts of the kid,” he added.
But APWLD and other human rights groups denied that Panguban was the one who took custody of the child and was only representing Flordeliza Cabahug, the child’s mother.
Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/13/1868279/regional-rights-group-drop-charges-vs-lawyer-sagay-witnesss-mom#ypavTrIjwFw2uIg1.99
Tagged: National Union of People's Lawyers, The Philippines