Group formed to prevent illegal arrests in Basilan PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 June 2011 17:38

Because of the series of warrantless arrests and sometimes illegal arrests due to mistaken identity, a group called Unity Core Group (UCG) and chaired by former Basilan Provincial Board Member Mario Mamang.was formed in Basilan.

UCG was formally launched yesterday during the conduct of the first Human Rights Summit held at the Basilan State College in Isabela City.
Local chief executives of all the towns in Basilan expressed their full support to the creation of UCG whose purpose is to put up a Provincial Human Rights Action Center (PHRAC) in the province.

PHRAC will then serve as a center where victims of warrantless arrest or mistaken identity arrest can seek help. However, the said office has no authority to investigate and cannot dispose things in so far as warrantless arrest and human rights violations are concerned, Human Right Commissioner Jose Manuel Mamaog explained.
Mamaoag, who was the guest speaker during yesterday’s Human Right Summit with the theme “Kapatutan Ginhawa Baran” (Uphold Human Rights), expressed appreciation on the creation of the said group whose goal is to stop illegal arrest of innocent civilians in the province.

Mamaoag said that Basilan is one of the provinces in the country that has a quite number of human rights violations through mistaken identity and illegal arrests which are mostly committed by men in uniform and other law enforcers.

In order to be functional, Mamaoag suggested to UCG leaders to designate a focal person and sit down with its counterpart with the CHR in order to discuss matters that would really help in achieving its laudable objectives.

“We cannot delegate our function to them but they can help a lot for us to monitor cases of alleged illegal arrest or warrantless arrest in Basilan,” Mamaoag said.
The recent case of alleged illegal arrest in Basilan was last April 26, 2011 where no less than the vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Basilan Electric Cooperative, Masid Yacob, was arrested. But after 47 hours of investigation held at the Western Mindanao Command, he was released.
Yacob said the name in the warrant of arrest was not him but of another person with similar family name.
However, Yacob decided not to file case against those who made the alleged illegal arrest. — Jimmy Villaflores