CAGAYAN DE ORO

Human rights lawyer decries communist tag

HUMAN rights activist and lawyer Beverly Musni said a malicious streamer tagging her and several other persons as members of the New People's Army (NPA) regional unit committee has been placed outside her house in Apovel subdivision.

Musni called the incident an attack on their security and violated the sanctity of their home. Musni, whose daughters are also lawyers, said this could be a prelude to physical attack against them.

The Musni family is known for representing incarcerated leaders of progressive organizations in court.

"This has never happened before that my property has been attacked. (We are already) Vilified nami before, apil nami sa (we were included in the) order of battle dating back 2009, never gyud nga naa mismo (it happened) in my home," she said.

"If this can be done to house where three lawyers live, what more those nga naa sa (in the) countryside, urban areas, ingana kasayon maviolate ang (that's how easy to violate the) sanctity of the abode (nowadays)," she added.

Musni recounted that on Wednesday night, their house helper noticed a man pointing a flashlight to their home. It was only the day after when they noticed the streamer placed in front of their house.

Musni believe that their being human rights lawyers is what made them victims of red-tagging.

"Virtually, all sectors who are seeking well-being are now being attacked. Here we are, including church people, supporting the legitimacy of these groups, and now we are being attacked," she said.

"We are officers of the court. If we are defending them in court, it's because we are officers of the court, and by law, (they are) entitled man ni sila ug (to have legal) counsels," she added.

Red-tagging not only violates the fundamental right of a person to be presumed innocent but also ruins the judicial system, she said.

Musni challenged the persons behind the attacks to file a case against them in court and not hide behind a streamer.

The Musnis are also among the 24 persons and organizations who are included in a list publicly distributed as "terrorist members and are responsible for recruiting residents in the city to join the NPA" in February this year.


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