Lawyer wants lawmen to pay for Andrea Rosal’s detention
It showed the Philippines had a “healthy democracy,” a spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said, referring to a court order instructing the military to immediately release Andrea Rosal, daughter of a former New People’s Army commander, who was detained for 18 months.
“She should enjoy the freedom that she has got now. It shows that we have a democracy that’s working; that if you have rights, you fight it out in court,” AFP public affairs officer Col. Noel Detoyato said on Tuesday.
But the lawyers of Andrea saw her release from prison Tuesday as only the first step in what could be a long legal battle. Edre Olalia, secretary general of the NUPL, told the Inquirer on the phone that the group was studying the filing of charges of “malicious prosecution,” among others, against all police and military personnel involved in the detention of Andrea on “trumped up” charges.
Andrea who was seven months pregnant when she was arrested in March 2014 and whose baby died while she was under custody, teared up yesterday as she recalled her ordeal in jail and called for the release of other political prisoners.
“What happened to Andrea was really traumatic,” Olalia said.
“This malicious persecution has lost her precious time, cost her a child, and brought deep anguish to her family,” adding that those who participated in her persecution should be “made to account and restitute the irreparable damage to her.”
“Impunity for rights violations persists because patent trumped up charges ripen into court cases that takes eons to resolve and demands tedious, cumbersome legal disentanglement,” the NULP statement said.
Olalia said that among those who could be charged for Andrea’s ordeal were officials of the AFP’s Southern Luzon Command who “produced the professional witnesses” that led to the filing of “trumped up” kidnapping and murder charges against her.
Krissy Conti, NUPL assistant secretary general, said they would hale to court all the so-called witnesses who implicated Andrea in supposed crimes, the “investigating team” that filed the charges against her at the Mauban, Quezon Prosecutors Office, the operatives from the National Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the AFP’s Intelligence Service who arrested her, and the Mauban prosecutor who found probable cause to file the criminal charges in court.
Andrea was taken from her home in Caloocan in March last year and was charged with kidnapping and murder. In July 2014, a Pasig trial court dismissed the charges against Andrea. A court in Mauban, Quezon, where charges had also been initially filed, finally ruled on Aug. 6, 2015 that there was no reason to detain Andrea, citing the earlier dismissal of charges against her.
Andrea is the daughter of the the late communist New People’s Army commander Gregorio Rosal, alias Ka Roger. Her mother, Rosemarie Domanais, another NPA leader was killed in an encounter with military forces in 2011, the same year her father died of a heart attack.—Delfin T. Mallari Jr. and Julie M. Aurelio with Erika Sauler and Kristine Felisse Mangunay
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