The release of United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP) Pastor Dan Balucio on August 13, 2021 is a judicial ruling in favor of an unjustly accused and imprisoned activist.
Balucio is part of the civil society movement in disaster relief, advocates for those affected by the disaster, and is a critical voice against the Duterte government as a human rights defender. His arrest on May 2, 2021, in Albay was strongly criticized by Aktionsbündnis Menschenrechte Philippinen (AMP) in a statement.
The human rights group Karapatan is calling for investigations and legal action against judges who issue indefensible arrest and search warrants. Judge Cecilyn Burgos Villavert and Executive Judge Jose Lorenzo dela Rosa are remarkably often involved. Such search warrants are not only the basis for the indictment and imprisonment of activists, but, as in the case of the massacre on so-called “Bloody Sunday,” they are partly responsible for the deaths of the victims. The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that judges may no longer issue search warrants outside their judicial regions, and that police officers must wear body cameras during house searches.