“When he was arrested in the hospital as hors de combat (out of action due to injury or damage) he should have been clear from any legal obligation.”
By JUSTIN UMALI
MANILA – The spokesperson for the New People’s Army Melito Glor Command in the Southern Tagalog region was arrested in San Juan, Metro Manila last November 26.
Jaime “Ka Diego” Padilla was reportedly undergoing a medical check-up at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center when civilian informants allegedly identified him. He was arrested along with three companions.
“When he was arrested in the hospital as hors de combat (out of action due to injury or damage) he should have been clear from any legal obligation,” Atty. Kristina Conti of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said.
Under the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the Republic of the Philippines recognizes the rights of New People’s Army (NPA) members under international law.
Padilla was presented with a warrant of arrest for multiple murder in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. This was the first time Padilla saw the warrant, according to Conti.
As of press time, Padilla’s three companions are under inquest proceedings on charges of obstruction of justice. Padilla is currently under the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Camp Crame.
Human rights group Karapatan Southern Tagalog is calling for charges against the three companions to be dropped. “There is no legal basis for the three to be charged with obstruction of justice,”
Karapatan – ST said in a statement. “Both the video and their own testimonies prove that they cooperated with the police. There was no justice obstructed.”
Karapatan – ST is also calling for Padilla to be released on humanitarian grounds. “If Imelda Marcos can use her old age as an excuse, what more a hors de combat like Padilla?”
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Southern Tagalog (NDFP-ST) similarly condemned the arrest as a “desperate attempt” by state forces against the revolutionary movement. “The revolutionary movement is not affected by this,” the Karidad Madlangbayan, NDFP-ST spokesperson said in a statement. “The fascist US-Duterte regime can continue using the police and military to instill fear toward the Filipino people, but the masses are more than ready to rise up and overthrow the corrupt dictator.”
Padilla is currently detained in the CIDG office in Camp Crame. Bulatlat.com