Solons eye lawsuit vs AFP chief for 'red-tagging' Ocampo, Castro

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2018 05:37 PM

MANILA - Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc are eyeing a lawsuit against Armed Forces chief of staff General Carlito Galvez before the Ombudsman for calling two activist leaders as active members of the New People's Army.

Galvez's claim that former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro are communist rebels is "very dangerous and baseless," said Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao.

"We will file a case sa Ombudsman. This is a very dangerous and baseless statement. Di puwedeng palampasin namin itong ginawa nila sa mga lider aktibista," he said.

Ocampo has already denied being a member of the communist rebels, saying has opted to stay above ground and join the "open, legal protest mass movement" in 1999.

Castro also denied Galvez's claims, saying the military chief wants to put them in a dangerous situation. She said she will hold Galvez accountable if anything happens to her.

Ocampo and Castro were arrested for alleged kidnapping and human trafficking when police and military officers saw them carry minors in the town of Talaingod last Wednesday night.

The two activist leaders said they were initially in town to deliver food to the Salugpongan school for Lumad children following reports of supposed blockage of supplies.

Ocampo said they were forced to rescue the student and teachers after learning that paramilitary forces supposedly padlocked the school and threatened the people there.

After their arrest, Ocampo, Castro, and 16 others were brought to the police station where they were told to stay overnight. They were only charged the next morning.

The so-called "Talaingod 18" were allowed to post bail on Saturday but not without the police and military attempting to defy the court's order for release, according to the Makabayan bloc.