“We hope that the court will see and appreciate the inconsistencies with regard to the process and issuance of the search warrant itself.”
“This string of dismissals shows Judge Villavert’s notorious and baseless issuances of search warrants. She has clearly turned her court into a factory of bogus search warrants which has led to the illegal arrest of at least 76 activists, human rights defenders, peace advocates, peasant leaders, and journalists.”
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said that the court’s findings “only prove how State forces are hell-bent at quelling the exercise of labor rights being promoted by trade union organizers such as Dennise Velasco as well as activists in general.”
Lawyers of journalist Lady Ann Salem and labor organizer Rodrigo Esparago asserted that the court’s decision dismissing the charges against the two is final and executory, thus, their clients should be released immediately.
“Parang binuhusan ako ng malamig na tubig. (My enthusiasm was immediately put off) If you could just imagine the mental anguish that we feel because all along we thought we will be with him this Christmas.”
“The situation will worsen if we are silent… Now is the time to fight, to speak, and to push for genuine social change.”
Relatives of Dennise Velasco and Joel Demate asserted that the “issuance of the search warrants was tainted with infirmities,” and the implementation of the search warrant “is in violation of established rules of procedure and in gross derogation of their constitutional rights.”
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said the domestic remedies are no longer enough, noting the trend of police “planting evidence” with impunity.