MANILA - The Department of Justice on Friday dismissed kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges against a lawyer who has alleged ties with communist rebels.
The charges were filed against National Union of People’s Lawyers Women and Children Committee head Katherine Panguban after she helped a mother in retaining custody of a minor who survived the 2018 Sagay massacre in Negros Occidental.
The Justice department ruled in favor of Panguban on the basis of the testimony of the minor and the mother who both said that "it was their free will to submit their custody" to the NUPL counsel.
Prior to the ruling, Panguban and NUPL maintained that the complaint filed by the husband of the woman was trumped up.
It was the minor himself who chose to go with his mother over his biological father, the DOJ said.
It also relied on pictures and turn over agreement signed by the parties before officials of the Social Welfare Department, the agency said.
- with a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News