human rights in the Philippines

Taguig court convicts child rights advocate of rebellion

Jairo Bolledo

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Taguig court convicts child rights advocate of rebellion

ARRESTED. Women's rights advocate Sally Ujano was arrested by the police in Malolos City, Bulacan on November 14, 2021.

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Sally Ujano's family says the allegations against her are baseless because Ujano was serving as executive director of Women’s Crisis Center in 2005, the year the alleged crime of rebellion happened

MANILA, Philippines – A Taguig City court convicted child rights advocate Ma. Salome “Sally” Ujano of rebellion on Thursday, May 16.

Ujano’s lawyer Finella Jocom confirmed with Rappler that Taguig City Regional Court Branch 266 sentenced her client to a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of 17 years and four months in prison.

Jocom said that the court did not allow Ujano – who was granted provisional liberty in December 2022 – to continue her bail, so she was turned over to police authorities in Taguig City.

She will later be placed under the custody of the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City.

“For now, we manifested with the court that the defense will file a motion for reconsideration. So we have 15 days to file the MR. After that, we’ll see what happens,” Jocom said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Police arrested Ujano in Malolos, Bulacan, in November 2021 after serving the arrest warrant issued by Judge Virgilio Alpajora of Regional Trial Court Branch 59 in Lucena City in 2006 for the crime of rebellion. 

The case stemmed from Ujano’s alleged involvement in the ambush of two military personnel in the province of Quezon in 2005.

Her daughter Karla decried the allegations against her mother as baseless, saying Ujano was serving as executive director of Women’s Crisis Center in 2005, the year the alleged crime happened.

Human rights group Karapatan has condemned Ujano’s detention, saying that the police were lying to justify Ujano’s arrest. 

Ujano has been the national coordinator of the Philippines Against Child Trafficking since 2008. She served in the Women’s Crisis Center as mobilization officer from 2006 to 2007, and as executive director from 2000 to 2006.

Ujano was arrested at the height of the Rodrigo Duterte administration’s crackdown on progressive individuals. Under his presidency, activists endured intensified red-tagging and violence.

Karapatan said at least 1,161 activists have been arrested and detained under the Duterte administration. – 

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.