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Home Features Dismissal of perjury case a victory of truth and justice, against lies and enemies of the people – Karapatan

Dismissal of perjury case a victory of truth and justice, against lies and enemies of the people – Karapatan

Dismissal of perjury case a victory of truth and justice, against lies and enemies of the people – Karapatan
Human rights defenders who had been accused of perjury and red-tagged for their work celebrated a victory for truth and justice after a court in the Philippines threw out the case against them during a hearing on January 9, 2023.

In a decision released on January 9, 2023, the court in the Philippines dismissed the perjury case brought against the national officers and human rights defenders of Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), and Gabriela.

“This is a victory for truth and justice over lies and the enemies of the people who instigated this type of judicial harassment against us,” according to a statement issued by the Karapatan after learning the court’s decision.

Karapatan thanked its fellow human rights defenders, families and loved ones, friends and communities, as well as individuals and organizations, for their support of human rights defenders and activists over the past more than three years, ever since the case was filed against the group.

Lawyers clenched their fists as human rights activists celebrated their victory on January 9, 2023, when the Philippine
court dismissed the perjury case against them.

Karapatan also stated that the perjury case filed against the national officers of Karapatan, RMP, and Gabriela is malicious and intended to disrupt their work — assisting victims in their pursuit of justice, defending individuals’ rights against State violations, and exposing the crimes of the State and its security forces.

In this third case, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. testified against human rights defenders. The court dismissed the allegations, including the fabricated charges in the travelling skeletons case in a Manila local court where Esperon was a star witness and the rejection of his order to block Bulatlat’s website in another local court.

Karapatan also stated that Esperon and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) legal group should stop their numerous legal offensives, including this malicious perjury case, by removing this dangerous government body. Since the formation of the NTF-ELCAL, hundreds of human rights defenders, social activists, and peace consultants have been imprisoned on false charges.

“The situation on the ground, which we have seen, witnessed, and experienced many times cry out the truth — it is state forces, their master warmongers in the likes of their former national security adviser, who are liars and enemies of the people. “Their statements, actions, and hidden agendas perpetuate human rights violations, injustice, and impunity in our country,” Karapatan said.

With the human rights defenders’ victory, Karapatan appeals to the Filipino people and the international community to continue to support them in their work for justice and human rights.

Karapatan has promised to continue exploring all legal avenues available to it under domestic and international human rights mechanisms in order to bring those responsible for judicial harassment against victims of human rights violations seeking justice. Furthermore, the group promised that its members, who are also victims of human rights violations, would never give up hope of fighting for justice on behalf of those who are denied it.