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Resolution unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 187th session
(Geneva, 6 October 2010)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Saturniño Ocampo, Mr. Teodoro Casiño, Ms. Liza Maza and Mr. Rafael Mariano, incumbent members of the House of Representatives of the Philippines at the time the complaint was submitted, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/187/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 186th session (April 2010),

Noting that parliamentary and presidential elections took place in the Philippines in May 2010 and that Mr. Ocampo and Ms. Maza, who stood as candidates for the Senate, were not elected while Mr. Casiño and Mr. Mariano remain members of the House of Representatives; noting also that the newly elected Congress convened on 26 July 2010 and that the new government under President Benigno Aquino III has taken office,

Recalling that in July 2007 the Supreme Court dismissed the rebellion charges which had been brought by the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG) against the parliamentarians concerned, holding that they were based on political considerations; that since then new criminal cases have been brought against the parliamentarians concerned (also called the “Batasan Four”) and considering more particularly the following:

  • In the so-called “Nueva Ecija” murder cases, being dealt with by two different courts, the courts had before them extrajudicially obtained testimonies; the competent court in one of the cases dismissed it, while the court in the other case ordered a new investigation; a motion seeking the dismissal of the case for lack of probable cause was denied and the petition before the Supreme Court against that decision is still awaiting resolution; according to the information and documentation supplied by the National Commission on Human Rights, extrajudicially obtained confessions or testimonies cannot be used in court unless supported by other evidence or given under circumstances which ensure that they were made voluntarily;

  • In May 2007, four days before the parliamentary elections, Representative Casiño was charged with obstructing justice by allegedly preventing the arrest of a person; the case has not since been proceeding although, according to the Court Rules, the investigating officer shall determine within 10 days after the preliminary investigation whether or not there is sufficient ground to hold the respondent for trial;

  • On 6 December 2009, a reportedly “self-confessed rebel returnee” filed a petition with the Commission for Elections (COMELEC) alleging that Rep. Ocampo and Liza Maza committed “acts of terrorism to enhance their candidacy”, which is a ground for disqualifying a candidate from standing in elections; upon dismissal of the petition, the petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, which COMELEC dismissed on 19 July 2010, clearly stating that the allegations made were unsubstantiated;

  • On 19 May 2009, theprosecutor had suspended the preliminary investigation into a twin murder charge against former Rep. Ocampo pending the Supreme Court’s decision on Mr. Ocampo’s petition for certiorari and prohibition in a multiple murder case brought against him in February 2007; on 5 July 2010, the prosecutor nevertheless, without informing Mr. Ocampo, resolved theses cases deciding to dismiss one and to file an indictment in the second concerning the murder of Guillermo Daguing; on 4 August 2010, Mr. Ocampo filed a motion seeking outright dismissal for complete lack of evidence against him,
Recalling that, in his report of 29 April 2009 (A/HRC/11/2/Add.8), the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions reiterated his earlier recommendation that the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG) be abolished; that, according to the information provided by the House of Representatives on 17 March 2010, House Resolution No. 881, “Directing the Committee on Justice to Conduct an Inquiry in Aid of Legislation on the Impact of IALAG on the Administration of Justice in the Country”, was adopted by the plenary and the inquiry is pending,
  1. Notes with satisfaction the dismissal of the electoral disqualification cases brought against the then Representatives Ocampo and Maza, and considers that the gratuitous nature of the complaints indicates an intention to harass them;

  2. Is scandalized thatthe obstruction of justice case against Representative Casiño, brought against him before the May 2007 elections, is still not resolved; reaffirms that this is a gross violation of his right to prompt consideration of his case and urges the authorities either to proceed without delay or to dismiss the charge forthwith;

  3. Notes with concern that the murder cases still pending against the persons concerned are not proceeding, the pending petitions not being resolved and an important procedural resolution not being conveyed to the accused;

  4. Is confident that the new authorities will make every effort to ensure due administration of justice so as to ensure that the justice system is not used for political ends;

  5. Reiterates its wish toreceive information on the work done by the Justice Committee following the adoption of House Resolution 881;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the parliament and competent governmental authorities and to the persons concerned;

  7. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 124th IPU Assembly (April 2011).
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