November 4, 2008
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines views with concern the arrest and continuing detention of Atty. Remigio Saladero Jr., veteran human rights, labor and media lawyer. He also writes a column for Pinoy Weekly.
Although known more as a labor lawyer, Atty. Saladero is a defender of press freedom, having argued before courts against the Arroyo government’s implementation of the Presidential Proclamation No. 1017, which resulted in the raid of a national broadsheet, threats of closure of broadcast stations and arrest of journalists. He also lawyered for various labor unions in media organizations and defended the media workers’ right to organize.
Atty. Saladero is currently detained at Calapan City Provincial Jail in Mindoro Oriental. He was arrested last October 23 in his home in Antipolo, Batangas on multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder charges in his capacity, the Philippine National Police claims, as a member of the New People’s Army.
His colleagues in Pinoy Weekly refute the PNP claim, saying that Saladero could not have been writing his weekly column “Husgahan Natin” and working as a high-profile labor lawyer in Manila if he was in the hinterlands as a rebel.
NUJP appreciates Atty. Saladero‘s contributions to the cause of press freedom and advancement of rights of media practitioners and workers. We are concerned that his prosecution may be linked to his high-profile work as a human rights lawyer, government critic and columnist.
We urge the court in Calapan City to speedily act on the case. We likewise ask the members of the PNP in Calapan City to exert restraint and to refrain from further violating the rights of Atty. Saladero.
Filed under: Statements of support