Detained NDFP consultant Rafael Baylosis filed on Friday a petition for indirect contempt against the warden of the Metro Manila District Jail-4 for refusing to release him despite a court order.
In his petition filed at the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Baylosis charged Jail Chief Inspector Jojie Jonathan T. Pangan’s refusal to release him as an act constituting improper conduct tending to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice, is disobedience to a lawful order, and tantamount to disrespect to the authority of the court.
Baylosis was ordered for release on June 14, 2018 by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 100 upon posting of bail bond to allow him to participate in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.
“The release order is still valid and existing. He has no warrant of arrest in any other case. So there’s no reason for the jail warden to disobey the release order. His continued, unreasonable refusal to implement it is a contemptuous act which not only violates Baylosis’ rights. It clearly shows disdain of the court which must be punished,” explained Atty. Rachel Pastores, managing counsel of the Public Interest Law Center, lawyer for Baylosis.
Baylosis was to participate in the scheduled preliminary meetings and formal talks in The Netherlands and Norway. He is presently a member of the NDFP’s Ceasefire Committee. He has been part of the peace negotiations in various capacities since 1996.
He is facing trumped up charges of illegal possession of firearm and explosive at RTC Quezon City, Branch 100.
“The warden is not above the law. He is mandated to follow the rules and the law. It is in the public interest that warden’s willful defiance of a court order be sanctioned,” Atty. Pastores stressed.