The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) thanks Special Rapporteur on Free Expression and Opinion Irene Khan for visiting journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio and human rights defenders Marielle Domequil and Alexander Abinguna on Jan. 27 at Tacloban City Jail.
In a tweet, Khan said,
“We are only int’l visitors so far allowed by #Philippines govt to visit them! Arrested in Feb 2020, trial still dragging on. How long should they wait to be free?”
NUJP asserts that the three should not wait any minute longer to be free. They are victims of fabricated charges. The evidence against them were planted, and the testimonies against them falsified.
The February 7, 2020 incident in Tacloban is just one of the many incidents of attacks on human rights defenders, revealing a pattern of using dubious search warrants and planted firearms and explosives. Journalists Lady Ann Salem and Anne Krueger were subjected to similar transgression of their rights. While Salem’s case had been dismissed, government authorities are appealing the court’s decision. Krueger, meanwhile, is out on bail and the charges against her are still pending.
We hope that the Special Rapporteur would push for recommendations that would stop these violations.
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