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PRESS STATEMENT on Nasino, Bautista, and Moran Court Decision

JG July 31, 2023

From the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) LEGAL COOOPERATION CLUSTER (LCC)

The LCC is dismayed with the news that the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 47, in a Resolution dated 17 July 2023 under Hon. Judge John Benedict D. Medina, has granted a demurrer to evidence resulting in the acquittal of certain “activists” Reina Mae Nasino and her co-accused Ram Carlo Bautista and Alma Moran for the crimes of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The Resolution dismissed the cases based on insufficiency of evidence, which meant that the high bar of quantum of evidence of proof beyond reasonable doubt was not met in eyes of the judge – which we respect. However, this never means that the crimes upon which Nasino and her co-accused, Bautista and Moran, were not committed and they are the authors thereof. It is therefore at the height of great injustice especially to the law enforcers that effected the arrest that the charges were “fabricated” and that the BJMP’s treatment was illegal, as the sole reason why they were acquitted was based on reasonable doubt and not a pronouncement that Nasino and her 2 cohorts did not commit the crimes charged.

The People of the Philippines, as the truly aggrieved party in all criminal cases, is unmoved by this temporary setback. While some “activists” charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives were acquitted due to technicality and based on reasonable doubt, many others were convicted like Alexandra Pardilla Pacalda last March 2023.

Pointing to no other conclusion that these ‘activists’, while espousing claims of allegedly being ‘human rights defenders’, are at the same time charged with illegally possessing firearms and explosives. The Filipino People are already aware of these ‘dual tactics’ of the CTGs and their allies and sympathizers, and the Republic of the Philippines under the Whole of the Nation approach through its prosecutorial arm will continue to legally and vigorously – without let up – PROSECUTE and press charges against those caught illegally possessing firearms and explosives, be an “activist” or “human rights defenders” alike.


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