Palace tells leftist groups to allow constitutional processes to proceed over Satur Ocampo, et al
Malaca?ang urged on Friday leftist groups not to engage in propaganda war but allow the constitutional processes to proceed after former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, a party-list congresswoman, and several others were charged with kidnapping and human trafficking over the transport of minors in Davao del Norte.
"We advise Mr. Ocampo and his supporters to hold their their horses. Rashly jumping into conclusions and engaging in propaganda war not only is unproductive but an attempt to resort to a trial by publicity against the government by those identified with the left," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement.
"The rule of law must always prevail in a democracy. There is no room for short cuts that impair the legal processes. Let the constitutional processes proceed without fear nor favour," he added.
Ocampo, ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro, and 16 others were charged for allegedly violating Republic Act No. 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act 2012.
Panelo, also chief presidential legal counsel, said Ocampo and the other accused have been given 10 days to file their respective counter affidavits to refute the allegations against them "hence due process is being accorded them."
According to the Philippine National Police, there were complaints from the parents of the minors who were allegedly taken by Ocampo's group without their authority and without written documents issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., PNP spokesman, has said there were 14 minors who were rescued from the 29-man group of Ocampo.
Ocampo's groups' supporters have slammed the police for what they call as "trumped up" charges against them. CelerinaMonte/DMS