Tawi-Tawi court lowers bail for 38 ‘Royal Army’ members
MANILA, Philippines—The Tawi-Tawi Regional Trial Court has reduced by 50 percent the bail for the 38 suspected members of the Sulu’s Royal Security Forces.
In its ruling made public Tuesday, the court reduced the bail from P164,000 to P82,000 that each of the 38 accused has to pay.
The 38 are facing charges for violation of Article 118 of the Revised Penal Code for inciting to war and giving motives for reprisals, illegal possession of firearms and violation of the election gun ban.
Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said their motion for reconsideration was dismissed by the court.
“They were not able to post bail [because] they still cannot afford it,” Acosta said.
Initially, PAO asked the court to reduce the bail to just P3,000 saying they were all jobless while one was an elderly woman.
The 38 were the first batch of alleged supporters of the Sultanate of Sulu in connection with their alleged intrusion in Sabah.
They were intercepted in three separate incidents off the seas of Tawi-Tawi by the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard. A number of firearms were allegedly confiscated after fleeing Sabah where clashes had erupted since March 1 due to Sultanate of Sulu’s followers attempt to reclaim the disputed territory.
The 38 accused were transferred from the naval facility in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi detention center.
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