Batangas court dismisses "terrorism financing" case against 2 Quezon activists

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Devoid of evidence, a court in Batangas City dismissed the case of “terrorism financing” against Fritz Labiano and Paul Tagle, both youth organizers from Quezon. The court’s decision dated June 5 was made public on June 7. The case of violation of the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 was filed against the two in April.

The case filed against Tagle, Tanggol Quezon spokesperson, and Labiano, Kabataan Partylist-Quezon coordinator, pertains to their assistance to political prisoners Rowena Dasig and Miguela Piniero in July 2023. The 85th IB accused them of “terrorism financing” after allegedly giving ₱500 and food to the political prisoners.

The 85th IB arrested Dasig and Piniero on July 12, 2023 in Purok Banaba, Barangay Caridad Ibaba, Atimonan, Quezon. An arrest warrant was issued against them, and six others, on July 18, 2023 for violating the Anti-Terrorism Act.

They were conducting an investigation on the impact of the planned cycle gas turbine power project and liquefied natural gas terminal plant in that area. The project that was to be built by Atimonan One Energy, Inc. (A1E), a subsidiary of Meralco PowerGen Corp, will cause severe damage to copra (dessicated coconut) producers and fishermen in Atimonan.

“The issued court decision exposed the fabricated nature of the case filed against the two. This is proof of the growing desperation of the state to trample on the human rights defenders’ dignity in order to cover up their human rights violations,” said Defend Quezon.

Labiano said they consider the dismissal of the case as an initial victory for all human rights defenders and people of Quezon who are targeted by the state because of their continued stance and opposition.

AB: Batangas court dismisses "terrorism financing" case against 2 Quezon activists