MANILA — Detained peace consultant Rafael Baylosis and his companion Roque Guillermo Jr were arraigned today by a Quezon City court. This followed the court’s denial of the motion filed by his lawyers seeking to suppress fake and manufactured evidence. According to his lawyers from Public Interest Law Center (PILC Phils), the court wants to go to trial immediately, regardless of the context of the political persecution.
Baylosis and Guerrero were arrested last January 31 in Quezon City by the police who claimed they acted on a tip about two armed men. They denied the accusation. They said they were not also read their rights at the time of their arrest. Neither were they presented with a charge sheet nor allowed to immediately see a lawyer or their family. On February 2, Baylosis and Guerrero refused to be booked in protest of their illegal detention.
Baylosis in his work is covered by the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees which should have prevented his being subject to surveillance and arbitrary arrest. After his and Guerrero’s arraignment, the PILC warned that political prisoners are at a disadvantage in cases such as these, where conviction may be had on the sole testimony of the arresting officer.
“Illegal possession is a tricky charge, and it has been used (abused) also in tokhang cases,” the PILC said.