Thursday, October 9, 2008

A continuing unjust detention

The Marine and Scout Ranger officers should not have been detained.

The 40 enlisted men should not have been detained then arbitrarily dismissed.

A great injustice has been perpetrated and continues to be inflicted on the officers and men of the Marines and Scout Rangers detained allegedly for the February 2006 incident. The prosecution has not come up with any evidence that will sustain a finding of probable cause, much less a finding of guilt. And yet we were jailed.

The Pre-trial Investigation Report, which found no commission of the crime of mutiny, was arbitrarily overturned by then Gen. Hermogenes Esperon. His actions deprived us of our freedoms, de-railed our careers and denied our families of our company. Yet, as we have said before, our detention and continued incarceration clearly appears to have been the result of one man’s whims backed by his patrons in the administration and surprisingly continued by an AFP leadership that appears to be not much different from the previous one.

There was no mutiny. Yet Esperon, and his ilk have demanded that we go to trial. The current AFP leadership continues this oppressive policy, despite the fact that they are by now aware of the lack of basis for our continued incarceration.

Very well, if there must be a trial, I am willing to submit myself to the process. In so doing, I am willing to stand for trial in the stead of my more junior Marine officers. Gen. Danilo Lim has also expressed the sentiment that he is willing to do the same, in the stead of his junior Scout Ranger officers. This is command responsibility, which Gen, Lim and I have always been willing to undertake.

We take full responsibility for the actions of our men.

Let our men go, reinstate the unjustly dismissed enlisted men and let justice prevail.


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