By SHARLYN VIVO
MANILA – A long-time women and child rights advocate was arrested in her Bulacan home on Sunday, Nov. 14, over a rebellion case filed back in 2005.
Ma. Salome Crisistomo Ujano, 64, national coordinator of Philippine Against Child Trafficking (PACT), was presented with a warrant of arrest and was brought to Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Referring to Ujano as one of the country’s “topmost wanted persons,” the Bulacan police said the arrest warrant was issued by a Lucena court on June 28, 2006, with no bail recommendations.
“The case is baseless as she was actively involved as executive director of Women’s Crisis Center back in 2005. She never heard of this case before,” her daughter Karla wrote on Facebook.
Ujano was with the Women’s Crisis Center from 1990 to 2007, of which she served as its executive director from 2000 to 2006.
In a statement, House Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas condemned the arrest, adding that it happened in November where activities are slated in commemoration of Children’s Month.
“Her arrest points to the absurdity of the PNP’s operations against perceived enemies of the state. It is perhaps the first arrest of a women and children’s rights advocate under the new PNP chief Dionardo Carlos,” she said.
Her colleagues, on the other hand, refuted police claims that she was in hiding for the past 15 years as Ujano has been attending public events as a child rights advocate, including gatherings that were organized in relation to the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Here she talked about how government agencies can better protect children and women from human trafficking.
This 2019 gathering, too, dubbed as “Ako Para sa Bata,” was attended by ranking government officials.