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PREDA CONTINUES TO SEEK JUSTICE OF IRISH NURSE

July 28, 2015 ·  By Fr. Shay Cullen

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Preda News and Fr.Shay Cullen
27 July 2015

Following the Sunday World July 26 expose on the injustice suffered by Irish psychiatric nurse Eanna O cochlain. in the Philippines National Irish Radio RTE continues its coverage with an interview coming on the 11 am radio with Dave Fanning this 30 July with Father Shay Cullen, founder and president of the Preda Foundation in Olongapo City who is visiting Ireland for a few weeks. Fr.Shay has written weekly columns supporting Eanna.

Eanna O cochlain. was convicted to 12 years in prison when he refused to bribe airport police and others in Laoag Northern Luzon ,Philippines when he was charged with the possession of .38 grams of cannabis about 2 cigarettes that were planted on him allegedly by the police.

“Your money or your life” was the glaring headline on the story in The latest Sunday World read by hundreds of thousands in in the UK and Ireland. Thousands of Filipino nurses in these countries are ashamed at the bad treatment meted out to their fellow nurse Eanna O cochlain.. They have expressed dismay and support. The story goes on to explain that unless the tourists or foreigners pay the bribes they will lose their freedom and most likely their life in Philippine prisons.

The case of Eanna O cochlain. is presently on appeal in the courts for three years without a decision. While it is well known that the court of appeals takes its time in deciding if the evidence in the original trial was safe and tight this is a very long delay. The accused was able to show pictures of the so-called joints allegedly planted on him. The illegal joints presented in before the Laoag regional trial court are completely different according to the accused. The case is being widely reported on social media and causing an impression of widespread corruption in the Philippine judiciary. Preda News

Fr.Shay Cullen.

I have written before on the case where a unfortunate Irishman, Eanna Coughlin, visiting Laoag, Ilocus Norte, where his wife is from, is the long suffering victim of an alleged cruel frame up in July 2013. He was suddenly detained, searched (without just cause) at the Laoag airport and lo and behold after quick search two cigarettes of marijuana were allegedly “found”. He was charged with criminal case no.15585-13 at the regional trial court Br.13 Laoag .His passport was taken illegally some say.

The unfortunate Eanna Coughlin, traveler and tourist claims the so-called evidence was planted. It could happen to anyone, it’s so common. So tourists beware, you have been warned. Even the sex bars have undercover police waiting to pounce.(Youtube ,The Raid ABC NY and Children of the Sex Trade).

The two Laoag policemen threatened Eanna constantly with 25 years in prison while waiting for a big payoff that never came. So they were peeved, the prosecutor was peeved and warned Mr. Coughlin of grave consequence unless. He was unjustly jailed and went on hunger strike, a man willing to die for his belief in justice. So he had to borrow another 250,000 pesos when they quickly granted bail so he would not die behind bars and create an international outrage.

Eanna Coughlin is a man of courage and is a highly trained well-respected psychiatric nurse who believes in honesty, his innocence and that justice would be done. He paid off no one but borrowed 200,000 pesos to pay his lawyers with the prestigious name Agbayani Agustine Leonador & Vallestero. They charged 1000 pesos every time they appeared in the courtroom took the 200,000 Pesos as fees and expenses and no pay off was made. They spectacularly lost the case

So as day follows night so came a conviction. A draconian law imprisoning people,usually Filipino youngsters, for 12 years for possession for as little a .38 grams of Marijuana was imposed is its full cruel crushing weight without compassion, mercy or consideration to the human suffering such an unjust law brings with them. In the full knowledge that such prisons are filled with rapists, murderers and tuberculosis and other contagious diseases, cells are overcrowded and reeking with filth and squalor and yet the Draconian judgment came down in it fullest measure. The judge showed no concern or feeling,or sense of balance and of fairness.

So with mercy and compassion put aside, Justice Philip G. Salvador, Branch 13,

Regional Trial Court of Laoag, burning with passion for the law and zealously protecting the public from the evils of two sticks of marijuana (most likely planted) slapped the full force of the draconian law on the hapless victim Eanna O cochlain.

Justice Philip G. Salvador gave a full 12-year prison sentence in a stinking filthy Philippine jail for two sticks of marijuana, which had miraculously appeared in the hands of the searching cops that day of infamy in July 2013. That sentence has become international news and is rocking the tourist world. Let it be known that many a police officer and most teenagers smoke grass daily all over the Philippines. Even the children of the wealthy elites and the elites themselves perhaps use it. It is now legalized in many area of the United States and President Obama has called for the overturning of US law that imposes unjust sentences on such marijuana users. The Philippines should do the same.

I know how unjust and unfair it is and how many youthful lives of students are that destroyed for that petty offense. I managed a drug rehabilitation center for 18 years in the Philippines and helped youth in conflict with the unjust and harsh law. I continue that work today in the Preda Foundation and see

8 years old kids are jailed for such offenses without any trial even thought is illegal to jail a child they still do it.

Such is the sickness of the Philippine justice system that there is no balance or sense in the judgment, its cruel harsh and one wonders why? Is someone somewhere still waiting for something? Twelve years in prison for what is a misdemeanor in most courts in the civilized world.

Its time for the Irish Government and international community to take a stand for justice for abused children and innocent tourists. We all pray that the court of Appeals will follow the light of true justice and exonerate a just man, Eanna O cochlan, victim of an unjust system, a brave and courageous Irishman with dignity and forbearance.

shaycullen@preda.org

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