Courts and prosecutors junk trumped-up charges against 9 activists
Two regional trial courts and prosecutors successively dismissed trumped-up charges slapped against seven activists in Metro Manila, Albay and General Santos City, and two staff of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
On August 4, the Legazpi Regional Trial Court in Albay dismissed the gun running charge against Pastor Danilo Balucio. It voided the search warrant used by the police in raiding his residence and arresting him last May as this was “not based on personally-verified information.”
On August 13, prosecutors also junked the charges of kidnapping and failure to return a minor slapped against youth activists Elaine Edzel Emocling, Christine Joy Dual, Alex Danday and Alfie Omaga. The four were accused of recruiting for the people’s army and kidnapping a student activist named “Trisha.” The prosecutors clarified that participation in protests is not armed struggle.
On August 12, the General Santos City Regional Trial Court junked the illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges against couple Edgar and Regina Patulombon who were arrested by the police in 2015 based on planted evidences of firearms and explosives. The charges were dropped because the arresting officers failed to inform the couple of their rights when they were arrested and subjected to investigation.
On August 19, the a court in Quezon City also voided the warrant used by state forces to raid and plant evidences of firearms and explosives in the residence of couple Alexander at Winona Birondo in 2019. Both are staff of the NDFP in the peace negotiations.