Solicitor General Jose Calida should resign over his accusations that two detained Aetas have been forced to seek inclusion as part of petitioners opposed to the Anti-Terrorism Law.
“The Solicitor General should be castigated and even made to resign because no People’s Tribune should be allowed to get away with what he has been doing to debase a high position of trust, Kapatid spokesperson Fides Lim said in a statement on Wednesday (Feb. 10).
During the oral arguments on the law held Tuesday (Feb. 9) before the Supreme Court (SC), Calida refuted the claims of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) that arrested Aetas Japer Gurung and Junior Ramos willingly signed the petition for intervention that was filed before high tribunal.
Calida told the SC that the two Aetas have signed an affidavit to withdraw the petition before their new lawyers at the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).
“Ayaw po namin pirmahan ang mga dokumento…napilitan na rin kaming pumirma. Binigyan rin kami ng isang libo at hatain na rin po namin,” Calida quoted the affidavit of the Aetas.
The two Aetas were arrested by the military along with their wives on Aug. 26, 2020 while going down a mountain in Zambales.
Caught with firearms and suspected of aiding communist rebels, they were charged with violating the Anti-Terrorism Law, among others, and are currently detained in the Olongapo City Jail.
“Calida’s claim is ridiculous as Gurung and Ramos are being held inside a prison facility where the State can easily pressure them,” Lim pointed out.
“The Solicitor General’s allegation is nothing but a desperate attempt to discredit groups that stand firm in opposing the Anti-Terrorism Act, a law that is broadly criticized for the threats it poses against dissenters,” she added.