THERE is no room for shortcuts that impair the legal process, Malacañang said following the filing of human trafficking charges against former Bayan Rep. Satur Ocampo and others.
“The rule of law must always prevail in a democracy. There is no room for shortcuts that impair the legal processes. Let the constitutional processes proceed without fear or favor,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press statement.
Panelo reminded Satur and others facing human trafficking charges that due process is being accorded to them.
“Mr. Ocampo, together with all the accused, have been given 10 days to file their respective counter affidavits to refute the allegations against them. Hence, due process is being accorded them,” he said.
Panelo also asked Satur and his supporters to refrain from engaging in a “propaganda war” against the government.
“We advise Mr. Ocampo and his supporters to hold their horses. Rashly jumping to conclusions and engaging in propaganda war not only is unproductive but an attempt to resort to a trial by publicity against the government by those identified with the left,” he said.
According to Panelo, serious charges have been filed against Ocampo and others for violating Republic Act No. 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act of 2012.
Ocampo, a former peace negotiator for communist insurgents, and 17 others were arrested on Thursday for allegedly keeping minors during a solidarity mission in Davao del Norte.
They allegedly held 14 minors without the consent of their parents and permit from the Municipal Social Welfare Office.