NUPL seeks writ of habeas corpus for arrested union leader
MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) on Friday filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking a writ of habeas corpus for one of the union organizers arrested on International Human Rights Day.
The NUPL filed the petition on behalf of labor organizer Joel Demate, who, along with journalist Lady Ann Salem and five others, was arrested in early morning police raids on Dec. 10.
The writ of habeas corpus is a recourse in law that addresses illegal confinement and restraints to liberty.
NUPL challenged the arrest’s legality, saying that the police planted evidence against Demate and that the issuance of the search warrant was tainted with infirmities.
Demate and the others were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
“To this day, Joel’s arresting officers and custodians have not provided Joel with copies of the records they submitted to the inquest prosecutor during the inquest. He has not even seen the search warrant, which was allegedly the basis of the search and his arrest,” NUPL said in its petition.
NUPL said Demate “is certain that the search warrant used by the police to invade his home was procured by misrepresentation and deceit.”
“Whoever was presented by the applicant as a witness lied about Joel in order to violate his domicile, incriminate him with bogus charges, and bring him under custody,” NUPL said.
“There are strong indices that the issuance of the search warrant was tainted with infirmities and should be carefully examined by this Honorable Court,” it added. [ac]
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