ABI AND ALLIES PETITION DOJ TO REVIEW DOUBTFUL CHARGES AGAINST SUSPECTED KILLERS OF GEERTMAN
February 26, 2013 Manila--The Alay Bayan-Luson, Inc (ABI) and other supporters filed on Wednesday a Petition for Review in the office of Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Laila De Lima of the Resolution by Assistant State Prosecutor Philip V. Tumala of Pampanga that recommended the indictment for Robbery with Homicide against the suspected killers of the organization's executive director Wilhelmus 'Willem' Geertman.
The ABI likewise attached to the petition some 1,815 signatures of leaders and members of different church denominations, people's organizations and civil society groups supporting the call for the immediate DOJ review of the charges. As per record -- Geertman, a Dutch national who had called the Philippines particularly the town of Baler in Aurora as his home for the las 23 years prior to his assasswination was gunned down by two men, later identified as military operatives (names) who barged in to the ABI premises in the City of San Fernando past midnoon of July 23, 2012. Despite evidences and statements provided for by four witnesses that pointed to premeditation the state prosecutor found more merit to recommend the charging of robbery with homicide defined and penalized under Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code, instead of Murder and Robbery. Moreover, the Resolution dated December 27, 2012 were served to the legal counsels of the Geertman family and supporters only on February 12, 2013. According to Ranilo Margallo, ABI Advocacy Campaign Officer, while they welcome the formal filing of charges to the killer, they are very disappointed with the result of the preliminary investigation by Asst. State Prosecutor Tumala in August 16, 2012 and the resulting resolution that came out seven months after the killing. "We will continiously campaign for justice for our Executive Director who spent more than half of his life serving the poor and marginalized Filipinos particularly in Region III, so that the apt crime of murder is recommended instead of ‘robbery with homicide' that denies the political nature of the assassination. We also call on the DOJ and other concerned agencies of the government to to effect the immediate arrest of the perpetrators and most specially the brains behind the dastardly act," Margallo concluded.