Court rejects political prisoner’s plea to attend father’s wake


The San Mateo Rizal Regional Trial Court has denied the request of a political prisoner to visit his father’s wake.

In an order dated June 22, 2017, San Mateo RTC Branch 77 denied the request of suspected New People’s Army rebel Eddie Cruz to visit his father’s wake in the family’s makeshift house in Sitio Ee, Barangay San Rafael, Montalban, Rizal.

Cruz’ father Cresencio suffered a stroke that led to his death last June 17, 2017.

In denying the request, the court used as basis the opposition of Ricky Heart Pegalan, jail warden of the Special Intensive Care Unit 1 (SICA 1) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig.

Pegalan alleged that escape or rescue of Cruz is highly possible, since he maintains that Cruz is an NPA member and the terrain is not familiar to the jail’s escort team.

Eddie Cruz has been in detention since June 2010 on charges of two counts of illegal possession of firearms and explosives which he said was a fabrication.

From his of arrest to September 2010, the military had custody of Cruz, instead of immediately turning him over to a civilian detention facility.

His lawyers from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said they will file a motion to seek the court’s permit to be allowed to visit his father’s wake to properly mourn the death of his dad.

“The court’s denial of Cruz’s motion shows the double standard of justice in the country. Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, accused of plunder and other rights violations, was allowed twice to visit her relatives’ wake, while under detention. Senator Jinggoy Estrada was allowed to go to his father’s birthday party for twelve (12) hours, while in jail. If jail authorities provided security to these moneyed individuals, who are charged with far more graver crimes against the Filipino people, why can’t the justice system accord the same humanitarian consideration and respect for political prisoners like Eddie Cruz?” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General.

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