March 10, 2009
One week after being released from prison, Philippines labour rights attorney Remigio Saladero Jr has been served again with trumped up criminal charges. He has now been accused of participating in the killing of Ricky Garmino, a member of the paramilitary group Civilian Auxiliary Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU), in Rizal on July 29, 2008.
According to a report by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), witnesses allegedly recognized 64 of the 72 labour and human rights activists named in the previous Mindoro case as participants in the Garmino murder. These witnesses appear to have fabricated their testimony given they were able to name the 64 activists in the exact same order as in the Mindoro case files. Among those named were activists in wheel chairs. A preliminary investigation in the case is scheduled for March 6.
CCC is asking people to take Action on behalf of Attorney Saladero and others by sending a letter in protest to several Philippines government officials.
After being held for more than three month in prison on trumped up charges, Attorney Saladero Jr was finally released on Thursday, February 5th. He was released by a court order on what appear to have been technical grounds.
Atty. Saladero, of the Philippine Pro-labour Legal Assistance Centre (PLACE), was arrested on October 23, 2008 at his office in Antipolo City. He and 71 other activists included in a police arrest list were charged with multiple murders and conspiracy to commit rebellion stemming from their supposed involvement in an ambush on state security forces in Mindoro in 2006.
His release came after an international campaign to free him.