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Lawyer appeals for release of terminally ill political prisoner

By: Tetch Torres-Tupas - CDN Digital Correspondent | June 20,2024 - 06:30 AM

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MANILA, Philippines — A lawyer has appealed to the Bohol Court to release a terminally ill political prisoner on humanitarian grounds.

Atty. Kristian Lora of the Visayas Community Law Center filed an urgent motion before the Carmen, Bohol Regional Trial Court to release on recognizance workers’ rights advocate Ernesto Jude Rimando.

Rimando is suffering from a host of illnesses, including Stage 4 liver cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary tuberculosis.

Rimando was arrested in 2021.

Based on the motion, he was arrested on a revised warrant under “Allan Morales.”

The authorities purportedly seized firearms and a grenade at the house he was renting when he went to Manila to seek treatment for liver cirrhosis.

The court has already dismissed the case for illegal possession of firearms and explosives, but he remained in detention for “other charges” under the name “Allan Morales.”

He was already examined by a doctor inside Camp Crame who “strongly recommended that there was an urgent need for the movant (Rimando) to be admitted, confined, and checked up for immediate treatment, and assessment of his actual medical condition.

READ:  Kin of oldest political prisoner seek his immediate release

Lora said that while the Revised Rules of Court do not expressly include humanitarian considerations as grounds for the grant of bail, the application of equity to attain substantial justice has ample precedence.

Quoting a Supreme Court ruling, Lora said, “Equity jurisdiction aims to do complete justice in cases where a court of law is unable to adapt its judgments to the special circumstances of a case because of the inflexibility of its statutory or legal jurisdiction.

“Movant (Rimando) is praying for a chance to spend his remaining days in a place with sufficient access to needed care of his medical condition and, if possible, unification with his family,” he added.

He added that there is no cause for the court to worry because Rimando is not a flight risk, considering his “advanced cancer and physical condition.”

Lora said that if granted, Rimando would be staying at the Philippine General Hospital, and his legal custodians, Atty. Frederico P. Quevedo and Atty. Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte, have submitted a sworn undertaking to produce Rimando whenever the court requires his presence.


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TAGS: bohol, prisoner

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