Laguna prosec orders release of 3 companions of NDF consultant
SAN PEDRO CITY – A Laguna prosecutor dismissed the complaints of illegal gun possession filed against the three companions of arrested National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant Adelberto Silva and ordered their immediate release from Camp Crame.
Laguna prosecutor Ma. Victoria Dado, in a resolution Wednesday evening, dismissed the complaint of illegal possession of firearms filed against Edicel Legaspi, 60; Erineo Atader, 55; and Hedda Calderon, 63.
Dado also ordered the release of the three from Camp Crame where they were brought for detention after being arrested with Silva, 71.
Dado said the case of illegal possession of explosives filed against the three was meanwhile referred for further investigation.
Silva, Legaspi, Atader and Calderon were travelling along the national highway in Barangay Pagsawitan on Monday afternoon when they were arrested by police officers and soldiers.
According to police, two .45 caliber pistols and explosives were seized from the activists’ car.
Militant rights group Karapatan said Calderon is a retired social worker and is a consultant to the Gabriela women’s party-list.
Karapatan said Atader was a former seaman and is now an organizer of the Kilusang Mayo Uno. Legaspi meanwhile is an organic agriculturist.
But according to Brigadier General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., commander of the Army’s 202nd infantry brigade, Legaspi is the secretary of the New People’s Army’s Southern Tagalog Party Committee.
Karapatan slams Silva’s arrest
Karapatan said Silva’s arrest was a violation of the previously signed Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) for peace negotiators.
“We have to deny that Adel Silva is part of any (destabilization plot), this so called ‘Red October.’ Nakakatawa na yung kwento but we are not amused,” said lawyer Kristina Conti of the Public Interest Law Center.
Silva was facing a separate multiple murder charge, the warrant issued a few months ago by a Manila regional trial court.
In 2016, the government granted Silva, along with communist leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, temporary liberty to allow them to join the peace negotiation which was later terminated by President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to Kristina Conti of the Public Interest Law Center, lawyer for Silva, the NDF consultant never traveled with firearms. She added that the guns were “planted” as evidence by the arresting officers. /muf
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