Mar 13, 2021 @ 12:48
PNP cites ‘pressure’ as basis for Calbayog intel chief’s profiling of lawyers of suspected Reds
Police Lieutenant Fernando Calabria, Jr., chief of the intelligence unit of the Calbayog City Police Station, was under pressure to come up with a report on the insurgency situation in his area when he demanded the names of the lawyers who were merely doing their jobs of representing suspected communists in the local court, the Philippine National Police admitted.
In a statement on March 13, PNP officer-in-charge Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar announced that Calabria had been relieved of his duties as a result of the initial investigation.
“What PLt Calabria did was part of his effort to come up with a comprehensive report on the communist insurgency situation in his area of responsibility, which is Calbayog City,” Eleazar said.
“The pressure of crafting a detailed report apparently took a toll on him and eventually prompted him to commit a serious breach of policy,” he added.
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.”