The cases against former lawmaker Satur Ocampo and former First Lady Imelda Marcos are different, the military said Monday, following allegations that the former was denied due process during his arrest.
Ocampo, ACT-Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro and 16 others were arrested last week over the alleged kidnapping of students at the Salugpongan Learning Center in Davao del Norte.
Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao said the arrest was illegal because they were supposedly responding to calls for help by the Lumad children and teachers who were trying to escape harassment by paramilitary troops.
Casilao also compared the arrest of Ocampo's group with the case of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, who was convicted of graft by the Sandiganbayan but has yet to be arrested.
"Those are different cases... Iba naman po ang kasong kinakaharap nila sa kasong kinakaharap ni Satur Ocampo at Congresswoman France Ocampo," military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo told radio DZMM.
(The case against Satur Ocampo and Congresswoman France Ocampo is different from that of Marcos.)
"Hamon na lang po natin sa kanila, instead of making other allegations, making trumped up justifications harapin na lang po nila iyung kanilang kaso," he added.
(We dare them, instead making other allegations, making trumped up justifications, they should just face their cases.)
Tribal leaders, he said, closed down the Salugpongan school because students were allegedly taught to turn against government.
Arevalo also denied that the military blocked food and supplies from reaching the school.
Ocampo and Castro's group failed to present documents of parental consent for the 14 minors who were on board their vehicle when it was flagged down, police said.
They were charged with kidnapping and human trafficking. They were released from police detention late Saturday after posting bail.
DZMM, 3 December 2018