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7 suspected NPA rebels plead not guilty of gun, explosives possession in Palawan

/ 05:47 PM October 15, 2019
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The suspected NPA rebels arrive in Puerto Princesa City Hall of Justice for their arraignment.
PHOTO BY ROMAR MIRANDA/CONTRIBUTOR

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY –– Seven suspected members of the New People’s Army pleaded not guilty of illegal possession of firearms and explosives during their arraignment here on Tuesday.

The arraignment was made before Judge Ambrosio De Luna at the Regional Trial Court Branch 51.

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On October 4, Domingo Ritas, alleged NPA leader in Palawan; with Glendhyl Malabanan, Jenny Ann Bautista, Ronces Paragoso, Bener Rimbuwan, Joelito Tanilon, and Awing Lumpat, were arrested at a police checkpoint.

The seven, also called #Palawan7, pleaded not guilty of charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

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They also maintained that there were irregularities during their arrest.

Lawyer Maria Sol Taule, legal counsel of rights group Karapatan-Southern Tagalog and National Union of People’s Lawyers, said in a press statement on Tuesday, that they were challenging the legality of the arrest.

She was not present during the arraignment but was represented by a different counsel.

“They should know that checkpoints must be done in plain view. They conducted a checkpoint and ordered them to stay out of the vehicle and showed them an arrest warrant where their names don’t appear on it,” Taule said.

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TAGS: arraignment, Illegal possession of firearms, Local news, New People's Army, NPA, Palawan
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