“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.”
Tags: Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert
By JONAS ALPASAN With reports from John Paul Nacion and Rebecca Olorvida MANILA – The recent junking of charges against labor organizer Dennise Velasco is yet another vindication against the “search warrant factory” that has led to the arrests of activists in recent years. Still, there has been no review of cases stemming from these…
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.”
“This is a very welcome news as we gear for the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) — which is historically rooted in anti-dictatorship struggle of women activists.”
In a statement, Karapatan said that a thorough review of the application of search warrants used by the police to conduct simultaneous raids on December 10 last year “is a matter of justice.”
Amid the national outrage and international concern raised over the March 7 “Bloody Sunday” killing of nine activists in the Southern Tagalog region, urgent calls are being addressed to the Supreme Court to do what it can, while it can, to protect the people’s constitutional rights.
“This latest decision of the court which overturned the presumption that the search warrant issued by Judge Burgos-Villavert satisfied the constitutional requirement of definiteness, has increasingly disproved the competence and integrity of the said judge as well as other similar judges who have arbitrarily issued search warrants against known activist and members of caused-oriented organizations.”