Court dismisses charges vs fishermen
By ROD TAJON
AGOO, La Union — The Municipal Circuit Trial Court of San Fabian, Pangasinan dismissed the charges against a 15-year old fisherman and his companions after the court found no sufficient evidence to merit the case filed against them by the local government of San Fabian.
Bayan Muna San Fabian chapter Secretary General and Barangay Kagawad Johnny Paraan narrated that Judge Rusty Naya dismissed the charges filed against Ryan Edic, his brother Marc and Alex Nariola on their alleged violation of Sec. 88 of the Philippine Fisheries Code.
Ryan, 15 years old then, sustained fatal wounds after elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) namely Po1 Monib Dalimbang, Po3 Freddie Fajardo, PO3 Julius Abrio, PO2 Mercenario Guba, PO1 Junir Tabilin together with boat operators Terry Morales and Arsenio Halog directly fired at him and his companions.
The police accused the Edic brothers and Nariola of Fishing with explosives, noxious or poisonous substance, and/or electricity being prohibited in section 88 of the RA 9550.
According to Paraan, after the incident, Ryan was left unattended in the hospital while Marc Edic and Alex Nariola were arrested and detained. Ryan suffered from multiple gunshot wounds and had to undergo a series of surgery.
The Edic brothers and Alex Nariola filed a counter charge of frustrated murder in 2010 against the San Fabian police; however, Pangasinan Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the complaint. Atty. Nestor Abansi, legal counsel of Edic, filed a motion to review the case at the Department of Justice (DOJ). The resolution, according to Paraan, is still awaited.
Paraan welcomed the decision of Judge Naya on the dismissal of the charges against Ryan and his companions. “We are still waiting for the decision of the DOJ but we are intending to file charges against the perpetrators to attain justice for Ryan and his family.”
Anabel Narvasa of Timek ken Namnama ti Mangngalap ti La Union (Timek) said that Ryan’s case can be rooted in the over-all struggle of the fisher folks.
According to Narvasa, the government has continuously favored big commercial fishing and businesses through laws such as the RA 8550 that violated the rights of the fisher folk.
“And now, the Ilocos seas are faced with off-shore mining which would further the deplorable conditions of the peasants and fisher folks,” Narvasa stated and cited the mining applications in the entire Region 1.
Child rights group, Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC), also lauded the decision and continued to call for justice for Ryan and other children victims of child rights violations.
In a statement sent to Nordis, CRC said that Ryan and his family had to endure the emotional distress and economic disruption, not to mention the medical condition he underwent.
“We laud this long-awaited decision as it has proven that Ryan and his companions were innocent of the fabricated charges against them,” the CRC statement read.
CRC challenged the DOJ and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to stand by the children victims of human rights violations. “Failure to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators is synonymous to tolerance with impunity,” the CRC further said.
In March 2010, human rights groups, Edic family and barangay officials of Alacan, San Fabian, Pangasinan trooped to the CHR to file complaints against the police of San Fabian; the CHR, however, has yet to issue a resolution on the complaint. # nordis.net