Counterinsurgency task force presents 2 Aetas to announce they’re dropping NUPL as legal counsel | Inquirer News
Close  

Counterinsurgency task force presents 2 Aetas to announce they’re dropping NUPL as legal counsel

/ 06:47 PM February 10, 2021

Japer Gurung (right) and Junior Ramos speak during a press briefing organized by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict at the BJMP facility in Olongapo City. (Photo by Joanna Rose Aglibot)

OLONGAPO CITY–The two Aetas who were the first known individuals ever to be charged with terrorism under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) on Wednesday (Feb. 10) said they were dropping the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) as their legal counsel.

Japer Gurung and Junior Ramos spoke at an online press briefing organized by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility here where they are detained.

ADVERTISEMENT

The two said they wanted to get legal service from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

“We want NCIP and PAO because we’re starting to see that they wanted to help,” said Gurung in Filipino.

FEATURED STORIES

He added: “NUPL said if we don’t sign we will rot in jail. We are uneducated so we are easily tempted.”

Gurung was referring to the Petition-in-Intervention that was filed at the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments on the Anti-Terror Act.

But the NUPL-Central Luzon said the two men’s accounts of their illegal arrest, arbitrary detention and torture were “well-documented” and “they have not repudiated these.”

“No force, coercion, bribery, deception, or any other means that vitiate their will was employed to get their full, prior and informed consent regarding their Petition-in-Intervention assailing the constitutionality of the Anti-Terror Act,” NUPL-CL said in a statement.

The NUPL-CL said until Wednesday’s manifestation by the solicitor general during the ATA oral arguments, they were clueless about the alleged denial by Gurung and Ramos that they freely consented to the filing of the Petition-in-Intervention.

“What we know is that representatives from NCIP, including a lawyer, have been visiting and talking to them without our knowledge and in our absence,” it added.

The group said it technically remains the Aetas’ counsel of record, “unless a proper pleading or motion is duly filed, confirmed as voluntary, and granted by the court accordingly.”

“But if they wish to change counsel, which is their absolute right, we will fully respect their decision,” NUPL-CL said.

TSB
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Aetas, Anti-terrorism Act, detention, Insurgency, NCIP, NTF-ECLAC, NUPL, PAO, Regions, Supreme Court, torture
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.