Members of Tinang 83 who were arrested in Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion, Tarlac have filed multiple complaints at the Office of the Ombudsman against police officers who violently dispersed and arrested them while conducting Bungkalan (community farming) in Barangay Tinang last month.
They accused the chief of Concepcion police, Lt. Col. Reynaldo Macabitas, and his men of the following:
Violations of Republic Act (RA) 7438 (Violations of Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained and Under Custodial Investigation)
Physical and mental/psychological torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Violation of Section 19 of RA 6770 (Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of Service)
Grave Abuse of Authority
On July 7, Tinang 83 also filed complaints against the fiscal that handled their case in Tarlac before the National Prosecution Service at the Department of Justice.
According to them, Fiscal Mia Mae Montefalco, along with Macabitas and the Concepcion police, were biased after charges of Illegal Assembly, Malicious Mischief, and afterwards five counts of Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation were filed against them.
The first two cases have been dismissed by Municipal Circuit Trial Court Judge Antonio M. Pangan, while the latter remains in trial.
“Naging labis ang kapabayaan ni Piskal Montefalco-Ikeshita at walang pagkilala sa wastong proseso sa inquest proceedings na naganap noong ika-10 ng Hunyo,” peasant group Malayang Kilusang Samahang Magsasaka ng Tinang (Makisama - Tinang) said in a statement.
(It was a grave misconduct when Fiscal Montefalco-Ikeshita did not recognize the correct process of inquest proceedings on June 10).
Meanwhile, Macabitas on Tuesday said that they’re ready to answer all complaints filed against them, in a text message to the Inquirer. “As law enforcers, it’s inherent for us to respond to complaints. They (Tinang 83) destroyed a property and there was a complaint [filed against them]. We will respond to the case.”
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.
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