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DOJ resolution on kidnapping raps vs. NUPL lawyer out soon

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to resolve the complaint against National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) member Katherine Panguban who is accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old witness in the 2018 Sagay City massacre.

Assistant State Prosecutor Ferdinand Fernandez said he has submitted for resolution last May 24 the complaint of kidnapping and serious illegal detention filed by the boy’s father Victor Pedaso.

The NUPL had previously said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) had been using Pedaso to get the boy who is meant to be used to tag communist rebels in the massacre.

On Oct. 20, 2018, nine members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) were slain inside Hacienda Nene in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.

Pedaso’s son has been tagged by the PNP as a star witness since he is a survivor of the massacre who saw what happened.

On the other hand, Panguban assured in her counter-affidavit that that the boy is now with his mother.

The lawyer pointed out that Pedaso he has been separated since 2008 from his wife and since then has lived Aklan and has never made contact with his wife and son nor provided support.

Panguban pointed out that “this complaint serves no other purpose than to harass.”

“Even if taken at face value, the complaint is wanting of any factual allegation on which the imputation of kidnapping and serious illegal detention can be made to stand,” Panguban’s counter-affidavit read.

“And since this complaint stemmed from the lawful exercise of my profession as a lawyer which materializes under a climate of red-tagging and vilification of human rights lawyers and defenders, with due respect, I am venturing to characterize the filing of this case as a veiled attack against the legal profession and against the organization that I represent, the NUPL,” she lamented.

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