Rights lawyer blasts Army spokesman’s warped thinking
By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: February 14, 2010
MANILA, Philippines -- Human rights lawyer Romeo Capulong accused
the Army spokesman of “warped thinking” when the latter insinuated
that the lawyer was allied with communist insurgents because he was t
he counsel of several left-wing personalities, including Communist Party
of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Ma. Sison.
“I think that's a clear example of what I call warped thinking, which is
unfortunately a typical mindset among some, not all, military and police
officers who are engaged in the so-called anti-insurgency campaign,”
Capulong told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.
Capulong was reacting to a statement made by Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato,
spokesperson of the Army's 2nd Infantry Division that his being a lawyer
for the 43 suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) arrested
earlier this month in Morong, Rizal, was proof of their affiliation with the CPP.
“This explains why the government's anti-insurgency campaign has failed,
aside from (its) flawed polity,” Capulong said.
Capulong reminded Detoyato that he has been a human rights lawyer for
the past 52 years, handling not only cases about violations of civilian and
political rights but also social, economic, and cultural rights.
He is also a member of the New York Bar and handles cases in Japan,
Europe, and the United States.
Capulong acknowledged that the military has branded him as a communist
because his clients included Sison and other personalities from the Left.
However, he “reminded” the Armed Forces that he also represented in
court thousands of farmers fighting for land reform.
Capulong stressed that the "Morong 43" were not communists as the
military claimed even if “some of them may be readily identified with the
left or some may be sympathetic to Joma.”
Capulong said Detoyato's statement appeared to be a “diversionary tactic”
from the “real, core” issues surrounding the arrest of the Morong 43, some
of whom were health workers.
These included the validity of the arrest warrant used to raid the resort
where the detainees were purportedly holding a medical seminar. The
detainees were allegedly tortured into admitting that they were NPA