Another arrest warrant issued vs ex-Ilocos Sur mayor for serious illegal detention
MANILA, Philippines — Another warrant of arrest was issued against former Cabugao, Ilocos Sur Mayor Josh Edward Cobangbang over the padlocking of a local beach resort—trapping its operator, her four-year-old son, and several employees inside.
The warrant, dated October 22 and signed by Executive Judge Gemma Bucayu-Madrid of the Regional Trial Court Branch 12 of Sanchez Mira, Cagayan, orders the arrest of Cobangbang and 19 others over the non-bailable offense of serious illegal detention.
Virginia Ong, who filed the complaint against Cobangbang, operated Cabugao Beach Resort which is a property owned by the government and leased to Ong’s industrial partner, Antonio Valera.
Records showed that Ong took over the operation of the resort following Valera’s filing of a quit claim in 2016.
The municipality, however, passed a municipal ordinance and refused to accept Ong’s payment for monthly rental.
Cobangbang then asked Ong to vacate the property, which she refused to do and led to the padlocking of the property that trapped her, her four-year-old son, and several employees inside until the following day when their lawyer and the police arrived.
“While it is undisputed that the municipality owns the CBR (Cabugao Beach Resort), it is equally true that ‘the power of a property (has) no authority to use force and violence to eject alleged usurpers who were in prior possession of it. They must file the appropriate action is court and should not take the law into their own hands,” read an earlier resolution signed by Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary Deo Marco.
A previous warrant of arrest was issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 24 of Cabugao, Ilocos Sur in February but it was later recalled.
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