On the acquittal of Reina Mae Nasino and two other activists

Karapatan welcomes the acquittal of Reina Mae Nasino, Alma Moran and Ram Bautista on trumped up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The decision of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 47 Judge John Benedict Medina regarding the case bears out the assertion of the three activists – that they had no guns or explosives during their arrest, and that the evidence against them were planted.

For three years, the three have endured the subhuman conditions at the Manila City Jail, away from their loved ones and their work as human rights defenders – THREE YEARS of their lives in prison for charges they are innocent of. Reina Mae lost Baby River, and had to go through extremely difficult circumstances and cruel treatment in order to be with her child during the wake and burial.

Such fabricated and baseless charges were likewise heaped on 778 political prisoners, as they continue to face the harsh conditions in jails and the injustice in our justice system. Nearly 300 of them are charged with the very same charges, all propped by the convoluted and false testimonies of police and military, against Nasino, Moran and Bautista.

We enjoin the three activists to hold accountable those who have conducted, enforced and justified their arrests, including former PNP Chief Debold Sinas under whose leadership such raids and arrests were executed. We echo the call for release of all political prisoners who are unjustly detained. We demand a halt to these forms of judicial harassment and legal offensives against activists and ordinary folks.