Fight not over yet for ‘Tinang 83’ – lawyer
MANILA, Philippines — Despite being cleared by a Tarlac court of illegal assembly and malicious mischief charges, the fight is not over yet for farmers and advocates collectively known as “Tinang 83.”
The 2nd Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Capas-Bamban-Concepcion on Monday granted the motion to quash the charges against Tinang 83, saying it did not find an ill motive behind the activity of the farmers and advocates as there was also no evidence that any of the participants were armed.
But lawyer Jobert Pahilga said his clients still have to face more complaints – which he insisted were filed without basis and “purely harassment suits.”
“May lima pa: usurpation of real rights over property, resistance and disobedience against a person of authority, tapos obstruction of justice. Tapos may hinabol silang human trafficking at child abuse,” he told INQUIRER.net over the phone on Tuesday.
(There are five others: usurpation of real rights over property, resistance and disobedience against a person of authority, and obstruction of justice.)
He further explained, “Bukas, kukunin pa lang namin ‘yong complaints. Sa tingin namin, purely harassment suits ‘yong mga iyon. Kayang-kaya mapa-dismiss ‘yon kasi walang basis talaga. Ano lang, afterthought.”
(We’ll receive the other complaints tomorrow, but we believe these are purely harassment suits. We can have these dismissed since they really have no basis. They’re just an afterthought.)
According to Pahilga, a preliminary investigation will be held on Wednesday for the complaints on the usurpation of real rights over property, obstruction of justice, and resistance and disobedience.
He earlier vowed to work toward the dismissal of the said complaints.
Nine of the 83 farmers and advocates were also facing complaints of child abuse. Among the nine, six have received separate human trafficking complaints.
“We will file our counter-affidavit on those cases pero ang hearing pa niyan ay July pa (but the hearing would still be in July),” Pahilga said.
Tinang 83 was arrested during a “bungkalan” or cooperative planting activity at Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion, Tarlac last June 9.
Counter-charges vs police, cooperatives
Pahilga then bared that he and other lawyers representing the group are currently preparing counter-charges against the authorities involved in the mass arrest.
“Willing na willing mag-file ‘yong aming mga kliyente ng counter-charges against sa mga pulis at sa kooperatiba. Inaaral namin ‘yong maaring kasuhan sa kanila,” he stressed.
(Our clients are very willing to file counter-charges against the police and cooperatives. We’re still assessing what complaints to file against them.)
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