Partylists pass resolution
in support of IP leader
Partylist representatives of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis
and Gabriela filed House of Representatives Resolution No. 469 on
February 18 this week which calls on the Committee on Human Rights
to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation into the political
persecution of Jose Cawiding, secretary general of the Metro Baguio
Tribal Elders and Leaders Assembly (MBTELA). He was falsely accused
of being a member of the New People's Army (NPA) and charged of
murder in August 2003 and was arrested in October 2007.
A native of Sadanga, Mt. Province, Cawiding was
a former staff of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance Education Commission
and Elders Desk.
"Investigation would show that indeed Cawiding
was arrested and prosecuted under false charges. Thus, we look forward
to the concerned committees in the House of Representatives to look
into the matter with impartiality and expediency, as the findings
would assist in providing justice for victims of malicious prosecution",
said CPA Chairperson Beverly Longid.
She added that stiffer penalties should be meted
out to law enforcement and military forces found guilty of committing
human rights violations. "The chain of command should also
be clearly made accountable for the actions of its lower units",
Cawiding remains incarcerated at the Benguet Provincial
Jail since his arrest on October 1 last year. From September to
November 2006, Cawiding and wife Jeannette, a leader of the Tongtongan
Ti Umili (TTU) were subjected to intense surveillance at their residence
in Brgy. Hillside, Baguio City. The TTU is the urban chapter of
The perceived threat to the couple's lives and security
was documented and filed as a complaint with United Nations Special
Rapporteur on Summary, Extrajudicial or Summary Executions Prof.
Philip Alston in February 2007.
Support continues to pour in locally up to the international
community in the campaign calling for Cawiding's release. This includes
a resolution filed by the Baguio City Council denouncing political
repression and political persecution. Letters of concern continue
to be responded to internationally by concerned individuals and
Peoples Alliance-Public Information Commission