Community Doctor Faces ‘Fabricated’ Murder Raps

Gimenez attributed this to the counter-insurgency program of the Arroyo administration Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL- Operation Freedom Watch). He said that state-designed anti- insurgency plan does not make a distinction between armed insurgents and activists and development workers.

Irrational, absurd

Lawyer Alfonso Cinco IV, Gimenez’s counsel and CERNET’s legal services and advocacy officer, describes the trumped up cases as ‘something that escapes reason.’

“I cannot find any rationality on why there are made-up cases against Ogie, Cristina Muñoz and other development workers, it escapes reason and bordering on the absurd,” Cinco said.

Cinco added that looking closely at the profile of Doc Ogie and the others who are accused, he finds something common and interesting to note on why they are being attacked and demonized. “They are all active in development work and in many ways, critical to certain government policies,” he said. CERNET’s advocacy for instance, Cinco explained, includes genuine land reform, justice and peace, just wages and human rights.

Like Muñoz, Cinco explained, Gimenez is a known activist in Central Visayas. Gimenez graduated from the South Western University- Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine in the 1990s and was one of the most outstanding Post-Graduate Intern at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

Furthermore, Cinco said that the motive of the government in attacking Gimenez and other development workers and activists is still very much within the framework of the counter- insurgency program.

“The government is under pressure because of its pronouncements that the insurgency in the Philippines will be eliminated by 2010, which is next year and that is why it is hell-bent in attacking everyone they can neutralize or identify as enemies of the state,” he said.

Cinco is confident that considering only the merits of the cases, the cases would be dismissed.

Strong support

The hearings have not yet started but Gimenez said he is overwhelmed with the support shown to him by his family, friends, colleagues and networks.

In a resolution, the council members of CERNET firmly stated their support to Gimenez and calls on the state to uphold and protect the rights of development workers.

CERNET’s partner, the German Church Development Service (EED) also issued a letter of support to Gimenez and Muñoz from its head office in Bonn, Germany.

AFP Chaplain Bishop Leo Tumulak, a close friend of Gimenez, has also signified his support and is ever ready to vouch for his person, anytime.

Aurora Fernandez, a US-based nurse and strong supporter of community-based health programs in the Philippines, wrote an online petition describing Gimenez as a doctor who “practice the Hippocratic oath in an exemplary manner.”

Fernandez expressed in the petition that she has worked side by side with Gimenez in medical missions in rural communities where he treated as many as 120 patients a day.

In Bohol, Gimenez was involved with LIHOK-Bohol, an electoral- watch body composed of different organizations, sectors and agencies. He was also a convenor of Diwang Dagohoy, an anti-US aggression and pro-patrimony formation and the Safe Food Movement, a multisectoral group that was involved in fighting chemical poisoning and genetically-modified organism (GMO) proliferation in the province.

He is also a board member of the Community Medicine Foundation, a founding member of the Community Medicine Practitioners and Advocates Association, Inc., the vice-chairperson of the Health Alliance for Democracy – Cebu, a volunteer physician for the Regional Blood Coordinating Council and a volunteer doctor for the Moñasque-Perez Foundation .

Aside from Gimenez and Muñoz, four other development workers and activists in Cebu are facing criminal charges. As of press time, only Gimenez though has received a subpoena.(

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