Sunday, Apr 18 2021 30°C,Philippines

Rights group questions arrest of its worker in Oro

By : Jigger Jerusalem Mindanao Today/05:20:50pm 04/08/2021


banner

Human rights worker Renalyn Tejero. (Photo courtesy of Karapatan)


THE human rights watchdog Karapatan has questioned the arrest of its worker Renalyn Tejero by the police recently as it is now initiating legal moves to release her.

Rights group questions arrest of its worker in Oro



By Jigger J. Jerusalem



THE human rights watchdog Karapatan has questioned the arrest of its worker Renalyn Tejero by the police recently as it is now initiating legal moves to release her.



In a phone interview Tuesday, March 23, Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary-general, said they are preparing to file a motion to quash the warrant of arrest issued by a local court in Caraga.



“A team of lawyers is finding ways to access the details of her case,” Palabay said, as they insisted that Tejero is innocent of the charges against her. She said the basis for her arrest is still unclear.



What Karapatan knew so far is that Tejero, who’s facing murder and multiple attempted murder charges, has not received a copy of the subpoena and that she was not able to participate in the preliminary investigation at the prosecutor’s office.



The group said Tejero, who’s working as its paralegal staff, said the arrest is “the latest in a spate of attacks targeting Karapaan and our human rights workers under this fascist regime, where people like her who stand in the defense of people’s rights either face arrests on trumped-up charges, or death.”



Karapatan has also noted that Tejero has been red-tagged, or accused of having connections with the Communist movement.



It said Tejero is not “a criminal nor a terrorist, and there is no question that these charges against her are fabricated and are only obviously meant to threaten her, to silence her from continuing her human rights work.”



Maj. Evan Viñas, the city police spokesperson, said the arresting team is composed of the operatives from the Regional Intelligence Division in Caraga and Northern Mindanao and officers from the Agora police station.



He said Tejero was arrested in Barangay Lapasan, this city, around 5 a.m. The warrant of arrest for her was for murder, with criminal case number 2020-85, and multiple attempted murder, with criminal case number 2020-116.



Murder is non-bailable, while the multiple attempted murder has a bail of P120,000.



Tejero, 25, is originally from Purok 6, Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur, police said.



“She did not resist arrest although she was surprised when she was served the warrant of arrest,” Viñas said.



He said Tejero was brought to the Caraga regional police office right after she was booked here.



Police report said Tejero, who also goes by the nicknames “Tiray” and “Lyn,” is also the secretary general of Kabataan Makabayan in the region, spokesperson for the Student Christian Movement of the Phils. and Promotion of Church People’s Response in Caraga, and alleged official of the Regional United Front of the Regional White Area Committee.



According to the Caraga regional police in its Facebook post on Sunday, Tejero allegedly belonged to a group that killed former Communist insurgents.



“Investigation disclosed that Tejero was one of the primary suspects of the brutal incident killing [of] former rebels, Zaldy Acidillo Ybañez and Datu Bernandino M. Astudillo, in Sitio Inadan, Barangay Magroyong, San Miguel, Surigo del Sur on March 19, 2020,” said Maj. Dorothy Tumulak, Caraga regional police spokesperson.



Tumulak added that based on intelligence report, Tejero is also a full-time member of the Sub-Regional Sentro De Grabidad Southland, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Command of the NPA.



“Tejero, who was involved in organizing the youth/student to become NPA member in the guise of front organizations, actively participated in underground movement of the NPA and was implicated in numerous NPA initiated atrocities,” she said.



For its part, the military in the region have yet to confirm if Tejero is a member of the New People’s Army.



“We still have to check if she is an official of the NPA,” said Maj. Rodulfo Cordero Jr., spokesperson of the Phil. Army’s 4th Infantry Division, in a separate interview Monday.



Prior to her arrest, Tejero was said to have been red-tagged for being an alumna of Alcadev, an indigenous people’s school in Surigao del Sur and her work with Karapatan.