Human rights group protests trumped up charges vs Naogsan
AFTER almost a week of searching, relatives of Grayson Naogsan, the son of the spokesperson of the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF), finally found him in Ifugao Provincial Jail, after he was abducted by five men in Baguio City on Nov. 5. According to a witness, the men who took away Naogsan said they were taking him to Camp Crame.
Human rights group Karapatan said that Naogsan’s family, human rights workers and lawyers went several times at Camp Crame to look for him but the Philippine National Police (PNP) kept denying that Naogsan is in their custody “despite the information from certain officials that he was indeed with the PNP at Camp Crame, specifically with the Intelligence Group (IG).”
“We detest not only the arrest of another innocent person on the basis of trumped up charges but also the disrespect of the PNP to Naogsan’s relatives, specially his wife, Rose. The PNP showed callousness to the feelings of the relatives who were anxious to know the whereabouts and the condition of Naogsan,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance earlier reported that Naogsan was arrested on the basis of a defective warrant of arrest issued by the Bontoc Regional Trial Court Branch 35 which bore the name of a certain “Jason Naogsan” and not Grayson Naogsan. The said warrant was amended yesterday to change “Jason” to “Grayson”. He was then taken to Ifugao where another warrant of arrest was issued by the Lagawe RTC Branch 14. The CHRA however has not seen the said warrant yet. Naogsan was charged with murder and frustrated murder.
“No one should be arrested simply because he is a son or a relative of a person who is a member of the revolutionary movement. The government has not grown tired of parading its arbitrariness,” claimed Palabay saying that, “it has not learned from the case of Rolly Panesa, the security guard whom they mistook for a certain Benjamin Mendoza.”
In 2011, Pablo Naogsan, 83, Grayson’s grandfather, and the father of Simon “Ka Filliw”, was also harassed by elements of the 54th IB-PA in Bontoc. The team, led by 2nd Lt. Roland Caringan, forcibly opened the door of his house and aimed their rifles on him. The soldiers searched his house and left without saying any word.
Palabay added that “Naogsan’s arrest also shows how the Aquino government’s disinterest in the peace talks with the NDFP, and how it has bastardized the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees JASIG which was both signed by the NDF and the government in 1995. Instead of eliminating stumbling blocks for the peace talks to proceed, it has created another impediment.” The CPDF is an allied organization of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
The group also chided personnel of the Investigation unit of the Commission on Human Rights-National Capital Region (CHR-NCR) for turning down the request to accompany Naogsan’s relatives and Karapatan staff and facilitate the search at Camp Crame because it was almost 5 in the afternoon.