KMU organizer ready to appeal illegal gun possession conviction before SC
MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) organizer Marklen Maojo Maga, who was sentenced to maximum of 14 years in prison for illegal gun possession, on Tuesday said they are ready to appeal the conviction before the Supreme Court.
Maga was arrested in San Mateo on Feb. 22, 2018, for alleged involvement in the murder of a soldier in March 2017.
During his arrest, police seized from his backpack a .45-caliber pistol with a magazine loaded with seven bullets.
Maga denied that the gun was his and added that the pistol and the bullets were planted.
“We will definitely appeal this before the RTC (regional trial court) and then if necessary, we will go to the Court of Appeals. We are even ready to go up to the Supreme Court just to fight this out and to get the truth and fight for justice for Maojo and other detained unionists and activists,” Eleanor de Guzman, Maga’s wife told INQUIRER.net during a protest of several groups in front of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The groups protested the decision of a Regional Trial Court (RTC) in San Mateo, Rizal to convict Maga.
De Guzman said her husband was playing basketball with his friends when he was arrested .
The backpack, where the pistol was found, was hanging on his bicycle at the basketball court when the arrest happened.
De Guzman, however, said there was no reason for his husband to carry a gun.
“‘Yun ang kwento ng pulis, ang totoo naglalaro sila ng basketball at yung bag niya dinala nya dahil naandoon yung basketball…wala talaga [‘yung firearms]. Bakit ka magdadala ng baril kung maglalaro ka lang ng basketball at pumunta ka lamang sa basketball court sa iyong sariling subdivision? Where is the logic in that?” De Guzman said.
“Wala naman siyang motibasyon in the first place para magdala ng baril so that’s what we are saying sa depensa namin pero nakakagulat din sa isang banda dahil it does not follow logic and reason,” she added.
In its decision, the San Mateo RTC said that “if the bag was nowhere near the accused before the arrest, the police officers could not have confiscated it.”
The court’s decision also states that Maga would serve his sentence at the New Bilibid Prison.
“We will make the necessary legal moves but it is important that he is supported by the mass movement and actions by different organizations,” De Guzman said. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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