Manila court denies state bid to revoke Satur Ocampo’s bail, have him rearrested

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The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) has denied the motion of state prosecutors to have the bail of former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo revoked and have him rearrested pending his trial for the 1985 Inopacan massacre.

In a recent order, Branch 32 Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina noted that Ocampo’s bail was “not subject to any other condition, except that its effectivity is until the termination of the proceedings of this case.”

Hence, the court could not revoke Ocampo’s bail on the ground of his “proclivity to abuse the provisional liberty that was granted to him.”

Prosecutors claimed Ocampo had abused his bail by getting charged by authorities with kidnapping and trafficking. The charges concerned the rescue of 14 lumad children in a National Solidarity Mission held in November 2018, in response to a food blockade by the military in Talaingod, Davao Del Norte.

The court pointed out that the Tagum City, Davao del Norte RTC Branch 2 had not yet even issued a warrant of arrest against Ocampo in connection with that case.

“Any issuance of an order or a warrant of arrest by [the Tagum RTC], if any, is outside this Court’s ambit and jurisdiction under the doctrine of judicial stability or non-interference in the regular orders or judgments of a co-equal court,” the Manila RTC said.

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