5 staff members of progressive groups nabbed in Tacloban
TACLOBAN CITY –– At least five people belonging to different progressive groups based in this city were arrested about 2 a.m. on Friday, February 7.
Arrested during the raid conducted by the police and Army were Marielle Domequil, a staff member of the Rural Missionaries Philippines-Eastern Visayas; Mira Legion, a staff member of Bayan-Muna; Alex Abinguna, secretary-general of Katungod-Sinirangan Bisayas; Marissa Cabaljao of the People’s Surge; and Frenchie Cumpio, a writer of Eastern Visayas.
Legion, Calbajao, and Abinguna were arrested at their office in Barangay Fatima, while Cumpio and Domequil were arrested at their office in Barangay Calapaniwan.
The press release from the 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City, Samar says the operation was made under search warrants for illegal possession of firearms and explosives issued by Executive Judge Eligio Petilla of the Regional Trial Court Branch 44 on February 3.
Several firearms, live ammunition, and fragmentation grenades were found inside the suspects’ headquarters.
The suspects are now jailed at the detention facility in Palo, Leyte.
House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, with his fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat, strongly condemned the early morning raid.
“The raid followed the same pattern of mass arrests then the filing of trumped-up charges based on planted evidence of illegal possession of firearms and explosives,” Zarate said in a press statement.
He said the recent raid was “part of the renewed crackdown on progressive groups in the country.”
Zarate and Cullamat demanded the immediate release of the five arrested suspects./lzb
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