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Philippines: Update - Raffling of case of human rights defender Mr Temogen Tulawie postponed following case transfer
On 17 October 2012, the Office of the Clerk of Court in Manila announced it would postpone the date of the raffling of the case of human rights defender Mr Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie to 8 November 2012 at 2 pm.
The raffling will take place at the Regional Trial Court in Manila City Hall. 'Raffling' is a procedure whereby a case is assigned in a random selection to a certain branch of a local court. Originally, the raffling in Temogen Tulawie's case was scheduled for 18 October 2012, but it was postponed to allow enough time to notify both parties.
This notification follows an order of the Supreme Court, which decided that the case should be transferred to the Manila Regional Trial Court, away from Davao City where the trial was taking place. The case file was then transferred to Manila on 4 October 2012. The transfer had been requested by Governor Abdusakur Tan of the Province of Sulu, private claimant in the case against the human rights defender.
On 26 September 2012, Front Line Defenders published an update on Temogen Tulawie's situation after learning of a plot to kill him in prison once his case was transferred to Manila. It was reported that several individuals detained in Manila and with alleged links to a violent separatist group had been hired to kill the human rights defender. The transfer of the case is of serious concern as it will result in Temogen Tulawie being transferred from his current place of detention in Davao City to Manila.
Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie is a prominent human rights defender who works to improve the rights of the Muslim minority in the region of Mindanao. He has been involved in conducting fact-finding missions into human rights violations in Jolo, Sulu, Mindanao province. He was arrested on 14 January 2012 at his home in Davao City and has been detained since under the accusation, which he denies, of being involved in a bombing incident in the municipality of Patikul, Sulu, on 13 May 2009, in which 12 persons were wounded including the Governor of the Sulu province
Front Line Defenders once again calls on the Philippines authorities to grant the human rights defender the right to bail in line with Section 13 and Section 14 (2) of Article III of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, and also urges the authorities to give due consideration and weight to the fact that the primary witnesses against Temogen Tulawie have recanted their original testimonies.
Temogen Tulawie was one of the featured cases in the Front Line Defenders Olympics 2012 Campaign
For more information on this case, please see previous appeals issued by Front Line Defenders on Temogen Tulawie, dated 17 January 2012 and 9 November 2010, and updates dated 17 August 2012 and 26 September 2012.