Panelo on Satur Ocampo’s team’s arrest: State forces not engaged in “dirty work”
Malacanang on Sunday defended the government security forces from the accusation that their arrest of former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo and 17 others in Davao del Norte was a "dirty work."
In an interview by Radyo Inquirer, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the group of activists were given due process after they were arrested on Wednesday night, November 28, at Talaingod, Davao del Norte for alleged human trafficking and kidnapping.
"They went inquest (proceedings) and then the fiscal found they can't be charged with trafficking and kidnapping so it was downgraded. It's clear that when the cases were filed, the judge saw there is a probable cause," Panelo said.
"They were given due process. In fact, they were allowed to bail. So I think, their accusation against the government is baseless," he said.
Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison has accused the government forces of accelerating their "dirty work," which they have started some time ago.
He has said that the Duterte administration is copying former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's "Oplan Bantay Laya," a counterinsurgency measure.
Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, advised the critics to "let the law run its course."
"In my statement, I said they should hold their horses. Let the law run its course. A case was filed against them, (they have) the right to defend themselves, they are entitled to the presumption of innocence. That's why they were allowed to (post) bail so that they can prepare," he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS