Mar 13, 2021 @ 12:54
NUPL says buck does not stop with Calbayog intel chief for profiling of lawyers of suspected Reds
The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) believes that the buck does not stop with the relieved intelligence chief of the Calbayog City Police for his letter directing the local court to produce the names of lawyers representing suspected communists and threatening to “neutralize” them.
In a statement, NUPL President Edre Olalia said the “mere denial” by PNP officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar of the involvement of the leadership in the profiling attempts of Police Lieutenant Fernando Calabria, Jr., was “not enough.”
Olalia pointed out that Calabria, in his March 12 letter to the city’s Office of the Clerk of Court, “invoked ‘higher PNP offices’ so it should be as high as it should get.”
“It strains credulity considering abundant experience of empty denials, botched cover-ups, rash damage control measures and false justifications,” Olalia said.
He sought a “credible and independent inquiry on this and a categorical declaration from government that this is wrong on many scores,” stressing that this was an “audacious yet unintelligent move that puts every lawyer at risk.”
“The relief of the intelligence man a while ago does not fully answer why these things and mindset pervade our supposed protectors,” Olalia said.
Calabria’s March 12 letter, filled with many grammatical errors, stated it was written “in compliance from higher PNP offices [sic] regarding of [sic] lawyers who represents [sic] Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) personalities in the court.”
He told the Office of the Clerk of Court of the city’s Hall of Justice to list down the names of such lawyers in a table that included a column marked “Mode of Neutralization.”
Section 14 of the Bill of Rights states: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel.”