More complaints filed vs 'Tinang 83' | Inquirer News

More complaints filed vs ‘Tinang 83’

/ 05:37 PM June 17, 2022
Activist farmers and land reform advocates on Friday assembled in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to decry the arrest of "Tinang 93" — the 93 farmers, advocates, and students arrested at Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion, Tarlac. 

Manhandling and arrest of 92 land reform beneficiaries and advocates in Tinang, Concepcion, province of Tarlac, Philippines. (Photo: Mark Saludes/LiCAS.ne)

MANILA, Philippines — On top of charges for malicious mischief and illegal assembly, additional complaints have been filed against the 83 agrarian reform beneficiaries and peasant advocates, collectively called “Tinang 83,” who were earlier arrested during a bungkalan or cooperative planting activity at Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion, Tarlac province last June 10.

Jobert Pahilga, a lawyer defending the group, on Friday confirmed that the respondents are facing another set of complaints of resistance and disobedience, obstruction of justice, and usurpation of real rights in the property before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Tarlac City.

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“Today lang namin nalaman. Pina-receive na kanina ‘yong subpoena sa mga arrested na 83,” he told INQUIRER.net over the phone.

(We only found out today. The 83 individuals who were previously arrested received the subpoena earlier.)

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READ: Raps filed vs 83 farmers, supporters nabbed over Tarlac land dispute 

According to Pahilga, a hearing will be held on June 29, where the respondents are expected to submit a counter-affidavit.

“Iwo-work out namin na ma-dismiss siya kasi walang basis. Noong inquest proceedings kasi, sinabi ko doon sa prosecutor na ‘Sino ang pulis in particular na nag-aresto at sino ‘yong nag-resist doon sa 83?’ Hindi nila ma-pinpoint ‘yon. Mahirap naman na lahat sila nag-resist. Lahat naman sila nahuli. So sa tingin namin, walang resistance and disobedience,” he explained.

(We’ll try to have the complaints dismissed since it has no basis. However, during the inquest proceedings, I asked the prosecutor which police officer, in particular, claimed that there was resistance during the arrest. And who among the 83 resisted? They couldn’t pinpoint anyone. And it’s hard to say all of them resisted since all were arrested. So we believe there was no resistance and disobedience.)

He similarly maintained no obstruction of justice was committed since their camp obtained video evidence that the farmers offered to stop the cooperative planting activity to avoid the mass arrest.

READ: In Tarlac, 87 held over land feud

Pahilga also countered the complaint on the usurpation of real rights in the property, which is filed against people who take possession of another’s real property through violence or intimidation.

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He deemed this “absurd,” reiterating that the farmers who conducted the cooperative planting activity have a collective certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) over the land.

“Paano aagawin ng magsasaka ang lupa na may titulo sila? Hindi ba absurd ‘yon,” he stressed. “Panggigipit lang ng mga pulis at kooperatiba ‘yan sa aming mga kliyente.”

(How can the farmers take possession of the land that they own? Isn’t that absurd? Police authorities and cooperatives are just harassing our clients.)

RELATED STORIES: 

‘Hindi sila kriminal:’ Activists, advocates decry arrest of ‘Tinang 93’

CHR probes alleged arbitrary arrest of Tarlac farmers, activists

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