January 29, 2023

More parties are seeking a stop to the planned actions of the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Council (RLECC) chaired by the Police Regional Office-Cordillera, particularly the approaches in addressing insurgency in the region.
On March 8, United Church of Christ of the Philippines Bishop Emeritus, and concurrent UCCP Baguio senior pastor and general secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines Reuel Norman Marigza has filed in Baguio City a petition seeking for the court’s issuance ex parte of a restraining order and after trial, issue a writ of prohibition and writ of injunction permanently barring the PRO-Cor presently headed by B/Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan and the Rlecc from implementing the three resolutions that all sought to stop rebellion against the government, and for the court to void these resolutions.
Pagkalinawan was named respondent in the petition in his official capacity as head of the RLECC as well as in his personal capacity, for abuse of authority as police regional director.
Ex parte refers to motions for orders that can be granted by the court without waiting for a response from the other party. 
The three undated resolutions believed to have been signed between December 2020 and January this year are: Resolution 1 s. 2021, which adopted a resolution of the Regional Peace and Order Council that encouraged Cordilleran communities to consider it a dishonor when family members, members of a community, and members of an ethnic group join the NPA and its allied front organization.
Resolution 2 s. 2021, appealing to local chief executives in the region to pass a resolution or ordinance requiring cause-oriented groups that intend to organize mass gathering to seek concurrence of the police or military in their area.
Resolution 4 s. 2021, enjoining law enforcement agencies and representatives of local government units to conduct tokhang to known left-leaning personalities in government, media, and other entities.
In his petition, Marigza focused his arguments on Resolution 4-2021. He said he is one of people who will be affected with the implementation of the resolution having been red-tagged since June 2020 through social media posts by fictitious names like “Huwag Tularan”, and “Kalumuran Mindanao”, and reportedly allied with police and military establishments such as the “Contra Force Against All Forms of Extremism” and “Sta. Magdalena Mps Sorppo.”
Marigza is a vocal critic of the current administration especially with how the Duterte administration is handling the Covid-19 crisis. This month, he issued a press release calling for the release of political prisoners especially those who are sick and the elderly
He added his views and statements made public through press releases and in the Facebook account of the UCCP are his way of conveying the sentiments of his flock most of whom are located in depressed and communities and communities of indigenous peoples in the country.
He also said his statements do not infringe on the state’s security and is part of free speech as protected by the Bill of Rights and that Resolution 4-2021 is clear and present danger to his life and security.
Marigza likewise said the resolutions should be declared unconstitutional for it was issued beyond the mandate by which the RLECC was created.
“RLECC is a mere coordinating body and is not imbued with any authority to issue resolutions which creates duties and obligations on the part of the citizenry. As a coordinating body, it is not clothed with quasi-judicial powers to determine who left-leaning personalities are,” Marigza said in his petition.
Other groups that also questioned the RLECC resolutions are the National Union of Peoples Lawyers, the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club, Integrated Bar of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet chapter, and the city council of Baguio. – Rimaliza A. Opiña