AHRC asks PNoy to protect Moro activist
ASIAN Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has asked President Noynoy Aquino to intervene and provide protection to Moro activist Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie who is being subjected to harassments by political leaders in Sulu.
The AHCR’s Urgent Appeals Desk said Cocoy earned the ire of Gov. Sakur Tan for defying the latter’s alleged moves to stop him from instigating protest against the governor’s plan to impose a provincial ID system in Sulu; denouncing the abuses committed by Tan’s political allies, the local military, and political private armed groups involved in arbitrary arrest of innocent civilians and several alleged rapes victimizing Tausog women and other human rights abuses in 2008 and 2009.
Due to Cocoy’s defiance to his wishes, Tan implicated and filed multiple frustrated murder and attempted murder charges against him on July 22, 2009 in a Sulu court for alleged involvement in the May 13 2009 bombing in Jolo which left 12 persons wounded including the governor.
The police produced two suspects – Sulayman Muin and Juhan Alihuddin – who allegedly were coerced into signing affidavits that Sulu Rep. Munir Arbison and Cocoy were the bombing masterminds. Muin and Alihuddin later recanted their statements, saying they were just forced by the police to sign prepared affidavits.
Despite the recantations and exhausting all legal remedies to prove his innocence, Cocoy was issued a warrant of arrest by a Zamboanga City court issued on October 5, 2009 prompting him to go underground and avoid prosecution and persecution.
The Asian human rights body said Cocoy is prepared and willing to face the charges against him. But Cocoy needs ample protection from the government considering the obvious risks and threat on his life from Tan’s camp.
Tan, for his part, asked the AHRC to make a deeper and intensive background check on Cocoy whom he described as a frustrated politician that has a “penchant” to stay in the political attention by way of concocting and twisting issues in his favor.
He invited the AHRC to “come to Sulu to gather more information and avoid perception rising that they are but echoing the vested agenda of Cocoy Tulawie.”
The alleged Sulu warlord, who is set to finish his term as Sulu Governor in 2013 and is eyeing a higher political post at the ARMM, is reportedly maintaining more than 5,000-man armed private army and has acquired two Army-made MX-8 Barako armored vehicles worth P6 million each allegedly using provincial funds.
If the Aquino government won’t promptly act on the AHRC report and fails to dig into the Tan camp’s abuses, it may well be creating another Ampatuan clan in Mindanao soon.
For feedback and comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Romie A. Evangelista