Statement: Mindanao Peoples Caucus Condemns Illegal Transfer of Cocoy
18 JANUARY 2012
ILLEGAL Transfer of Cocoy to Sulu Undermines Authority of SC and is a Gross Violation of the Right to Due Process and an Affront to the Rule of Law
We condemn the illegal transfer of Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie which was carried out by members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) Davao and the Military Intelligence Group Region 9 yesterday. Cocoy was secretly transported to the airport to face trial in Sulu upon the orders of Judge Betlee-Ian Barraquias of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Sulu despite of the Supreme Court order granting the Petition for Transfer of Venue of the case to Davao City.
The order of the Supreme Court which was issued last June 13, 2011 clearly states that jurisdiction of Cocoy’s case and his trial is transferred to the Davao RTC under Judge Pelagio Paguican, and yet in open defiance of this Judge Barraquias ordered the transfer of Cocoy on the argument that because of a motion for reconsideration filed by the lawyers of Governor Abdusakur Tan the Supreme Court order was not final and executory.
How can a motion that was not even approved by the court supersede the finality of the decision of the highest court in the land? In fact a subsequent order given by Deputy Raul Villanueva of the Supreme Court states that the said motion of Gov. Tan has already been denied.
We also question the manner by which the PNP-SAF and the PNP at the Davao City Police Office carried out the “illegal” order of Judge Barraquias for it was done treacherously and with a clear malice. No information was given to the family or Cocoy’s legal counsel about the order of Judge Barraquias. In fact one of Cocoy’s friend who visited his detention cell at the Davao City Police Office on the morning before the PNP-SAF took him to the airport to board a commercial flight to Zamboanga was told to leave by the jail guards as they said they would like to ask Cocoy some questions first. When Cocoy’s visitors left the PNP-SAF operatives led by Col. Fernando Ortega who were apparently waiting in one of the offices of the DCPO took custody of Cocoy and immediately transported him to the Davao Airport.
Such a brazen act of Judge Barraquias and of the Davao PNP-SAF is a clear affront to the rule of law and undermines the authority of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of justice. It also violates the constitutional rights of the accused to due process and puts to question the integrity of our legal system.
We are also disappointed that the Davao RTC Executive Judge Pelagio Paguican failed to stand for justice and the rule of law by not acting on the decision of the Supreme Court. It is in this sense that we ask that Judge Paguican redeem himself by immediately issuing a commitment order that would ensure a fair, impartial and speedy disposition of Cocoy’s case. #