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Panelo: ‘Dirty work’ accusation in arrest of Satur, 17 others ‘baseless’

/ 02:02 PM December 02, 2018
Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo belied the accusations of “dirty work” in the arrest of former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo and 17 others in Davao del Norte.

READ: Satur Ocampo’s group freed; gov’t ‘dirty work’ hit

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Panelo noted that the case of Ocampo and the others underwent due process; therefore, the claim that security forces used “dirty work” against members of the rescue team is “baseless.”

“Dinemanda sila ng trafficking and I think that was downgraded to exploitation and discrimination under Republic Act 7610, meaning to say nagkaroon ng inquest and then nakita ng piskal na ‘di pa pwede ‘yung trafficking and kidnapping,” Panelo said over an interview with Radyo Inquirer on Sunday.

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READ: Satur, aid group held for ‘human trafficking’

“Madaling sabi…nakita nung judge na may probable cause, so ibig sabihin, binibigyan sila ng due process, in fact binigyan sila ng bail. So palagay ko, masyadong baseless ‘yung akusasyon nila sa gobyerno,” he added.

Earlier, Ocampo and other members of a rescue team were arrested for charges of human trafficking, kidnapping, and failure to return a minor.

READ: Satur Ocampo, 17 others post bail on child abuse case

The group, which also includes ACT Teachers partylist Rep. France Castro, were on a “solidarity mission” to rescue children from a lumad school that were reportedly padlocked by the paramilitary group Alamara.

Moreover, Panelo reiterated his reminder to the camp of Ocampo and the others to let the legal process “run its course.”

READ: Palace to Satur, et al.: Let legal process take its course

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“Pabayaan natin na tumakbo ang batas. Let the law run its course. Dahil nakademanda na sila. They have the right to defend themselves. They are entitled to the presumption of innocence. Kaya nga sila binigyan ng bail para makapagprepare,” he said.

“Kaya dapat hayaan na lang natin ang hukuman,” he added. /je

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