Children's groups condemn guilty verdict in rebellion case against child rights advocate

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The Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns and the Free Sally Ujano Movement condemned the Taguig Regional Trial Court for its guilty verdict of rebellion charges against Maria Salome Crisostomo-Ujano, 67. Ujano was implicated in an encounter of the New People’s Army against government soldiers in Quezon that took place in November 2005. In a court decision on May 16, Ujano was sentenced to 10 to 17 years and four months in prison.

Ujano was first arrested on November 21, 2021 at her residence in Barangay Mabolo, Malolos City, Bulacan. She was detained for one year at the Taguig City Jail-Female Dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig before being temporarily released on bail on December 29, 2022. The police arrested and detained her again on the very day of the verdict.

“This verdict, based on a fabricated case of rebellion, is a clear injustice and direct attack on the a dedicated defender of children’s rights in the Philippines,” Salinlahi said. The group insists that the unjust verdict will terrorize those like Ujano who promote children’s rights in the country.

Ujano is the national coordinator of the Philippines Against Child Trafficking since 2008 up to the present. She previously served as the executive director of the Women’s Crisis Center from 2000 to 2007. She has been an active advocate for policies, measures and laws that protect the rights of children and women including the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004.

“For decades, Ms. Ujano has tirelessly championed the cause of vulnerable children in the Philippines. Her leadership in national campaigns and advocacy has been instrumental in raising public awareness about the issue of child trafficking,” Salinlahi also said.

AB: Children's groups condemn guilty verdict in rebellion case against child rights advocate