Petition Closed

Because they are human rights defenders and not criminals.

Letter to
Secretary, Department of Justice, Philippines Hon. Leila M. De Lima
Chairperson - Commission on Human Rights Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
President, Republic of the Philippines His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III, Hon. Leila De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice and Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales, Chairperson-Commission on Human Rights

Dear Secretary De Lima:

We are the families, friends and supporters of Roy Velez, Amelita Bravante (Gamara) and other victims of political persecution. We are sending you this appeal letter calling to DISMISS FABRICATED CASES AGAINST ROY VELEZ AND AMELITA BRAVANTE (GAMARA).

On December 3, 2012, two union organizers from the Confederation and Unity of Government Employees were illegally arrested by the Philippine National Police and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and now detained in Naga Provincial Jail. They were falsely accused of murder to four (4) military personnel related to an ambush between the AFP and NPA on April 29, 2012. Included in the warrant of arrest are the names of Amelita Bravante (Gamara) and Roy Velez and 28 other people.

Another illegal arrest and detention were documented on December 28 and December 30 aganinst ACT Teachers Coordinator Rene Abiva and Virgilio Corpuz of PISTON Partylist in Cagayan Valley. They were also falsely charged with murder to 12 military personnel related to an alleged ambush of NPA to AFP in Dungdugto, Ifugao on April 25, 2012. Again, the names of Amelita Gamara, Roy Velez, Randy Vegas and Raul Camposano are included in the warrant of arrest pertaining to the murder case.

Bravante, Velez, Vegas, Camposano, Abiva and Corpuz are all leaders of legitimate people's organizations active in the fight for the rights and welfare of workers, urban poor, government employees, teachers, drivers and the Filipino people. Gamara, Velez, Vegas and Camposano are trade union leaders based in Metro Manila while Abiva and Corpuz are from Cagayan Valley. Aside from them, 25 other people composed of mass leaders, organizers, church worker and famers from Negros Occidental and Mulanay, Quezon Province were summarily arrested on December 2012.

The two warrant of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court of Camarines Norte and Ifugao denied the right to fair trial and due process of Gamara (Bravante), Velez, Vegas, Camposano, Abiva and Corpuz. They were falsely charged with murder and other criminal charges related to an encounter between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and New People's Army on April 25 and April 29, same year of 2012 in Camarines Norte and Ifugao.

was no real preliminary investigation conducted prior to the release of the warrant of arrest. It was only during their arrest that Randy Vegas, Raul Camposano, Rene Abiva and Virgilio Corpuz were informed about the case. Later, Bravante and Velez were informed by their colleagues in the national office. All of them did not received any court resolution, information and warrant of arrest and any documents or subpoena related to the accusation against them. The resolution of the prosecutors indicting them was solely based by the fabricated sworn statements of the complainants from the PNP and AFP.

Amelita and Roy did not commit murder and any criminal activities. They are long time residents in Metro Manila and have not gone to the places of incident indicated in the warrant of arrest. Both dates, April 25 and 29, 2012, the two are in Metro Manila. Bravante attended meetings related to her organization's preparation for the Fact Finding Mission in Silverio Compound and International Labor Day, May 1, 2012 in Manila and Makati City and Roy Velez was at the National Council Meeting of ANAKPAWIS in Quezon City on the 25th and was at the funeral of Arnel Leonor (the young man who died during the bloody demolition in Silverio Compound) on the 29th of April in North Cemetery, Manila.

Bravante is a trade union leader from La Suerte Cigarette since martial law days and an organizer of workers union including the workers' union in Triumph International. She founded Defend Job Philippines and also currently the Deputy Secretary General of Kilusang Mayo Uno-National Capital Region. Velez is also trade union leader and former Education Officer of the Philips Semi-Conductors Philippines Inc. Workers' union. He is the Chairman of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and Kilusang Mayo Uno in the National Capital Region, National Council Member of KMU, Vice Chairperson for Luzon of Anakpawis Partylist and also a nominee of ANAKPAWIS. He heads the SAVE FREEDOM ISLAND MOVEMENT, an alliance opposing the massive reclamation of the seawaters of Las Pinas and Paranaque. On May 2007, Roy Velez survived from an attempted abduction by the military in his residence in Las Pinas City.

Both Amelita and Roy are leading the campaign for decent jobs and homes amidst the widespread implementation of Public Private Partnership Projects. They are trade union and urban poor leaders who are at the forefront of the struggle against forced eviction and massive devastation in Metro Manila brought by the development projects led by the Aquino government in partnership with big businesses.