Family of child rights advocate Sally Ujano seeks acquittal in rebellion case

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Family of child rights advocate Sally Ujano seeks acquittal in rebellion case
Photo shows rights activist Maria Salome Crisostomo-Ujano, the national coordinator of Philippines Against Child Trafficking.
Karla Ujano on Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — The family of child rights defender Sally Ujano has called for the acquittal of the rebellion charges against her.

On May 16, the Taguig Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 266 has found Ujano guilty of the crime of rebellion where she was sentenced to 10 years of prision mayor minimum to 17 years and four months of reclusion temporal maximum.

According to a report by the STAR, Ujano's lawyer Finella Jocom said that the court found Ujano guilty of the crime of rebellion only as a “mere participant.”

In a statement, Tina Rodriguez, Ujano’s niece, said that their family felt an overwhelming sorrow after the court decision. 

“We are crying for justice for Tita Sally, who does not deserve to be in the correctional institute where she is now,” Rodriguez said in a Monday statement.

“We plead with the authorities to grant Tita Sally what is truly due to her: total acquittal from all charges and complete freedom. May God touch the hearts and minds of the authorities to do what is right and just in His eyes,” she added.

At the age of 66, Ujano also suffers “multiple health concerns,” according to Rodriguez.

“I cannot imagine the fear and worry that they are currently feeling for their (Ujano's family) mother, especially given her age and multiple health concerns, including hypertension, hypertensive heart disease, dyslipidemia, chronic back pain because of thoracolumbar spondylosis, cholelithiasis, osteoarthritis and seborrheic keratosis,” she said.

In a separate statement, Child Rights Coalition Asia also expressed their dissapointment with the court’s ruling.

“Sally is a staunch and respected human rights defender. Sally is not an enemy of the State. She is a partner in protecting the rights of women and children. We demand that the State do its job to protect not only women and children, but also those who protect and defend women and children,” the coalition said in a statement.

Rights group Salinlahi Alliance for Children's Concerns said that Ujano’s conviction sends a “chilling effect” across rights workers.

“The conviction of Ujano does not only undermine the vital work she has done but also serves as a grave affront to the protection of Filipino children's rights. This unjust verdict sends a chilling effect across the community of child rights advocates, perpetuating an atmosphere of fear and silence that endangers the very efforts to safeguard the welfare of Filipino children,” the group’s statement read.

“Furthermore, it adds insult to the injury of the very victims of child trafficking, whom she has tirelessly worked to protect and support,” the group added.

Ujano was arrested on Nov. 14, 2021 by police in plain clothes who reportedly did not show any identification, on a rebellion charge due to alleged involvement in an ambush of two military personnel in Quezon province back in 2005.

The rebellion charge against her was filed in 2006.

Following her conviction, Jocom said that they would appeal the decision. However, the child rights activist will stay in prison as her bail was canceled.

She is currently held at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City.

Ujano was executive director of the Women’s Crisis Center from 2000 to 2007 and national coordinator of the Philippines Against Child Trafficking from 2008 up to the present.

Last year, she was acknowledged by United Nations Women – Philippines for her significant efforts in advocating for human rights. She was awarded with the title of Feminist Champion against Gender-Based Violence, alongside other rights workers.

She was also one of the individuals who lobbied and worked for the drafting and implementation of certain laws such as the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004.

vuukle comment





  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with