Court orders release of 72-year-old Piston member, other jeepney driver from Caloocan jail
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED)— A court in Caloocan has ordered the release of Elmer Cordero, 72, and Wilson Ramilla, two of the six jeepney drivers detained for organizing a rally protesting their loss of livelihood during the coronavirus lockdown.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Lawyer Vicente Jaime Topacio, legal counsel of the six jeepney drivers, shared the court document which showed that Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 51 in Caloocan City ordered that Cordero should be discharged from Caloocan Facility Extension Unit after posting bail worth P10,000 for an estafa case.
The court also ordered station commander of Caloocan police to make a report within ten days from receipt of the order, “the date and time of Cordero’s release and the reason in case of continued confinement.”
Caloocan police chief Col. Dario Menor said in a Viber message that Cordero has been released and will be assisted as he returns home.
Meanwhile, Ramilla was also freed from the custodial center after they found out that his car theft case in 2010 has been dismissed, Menor said.
“Lumabas kasi ‘yung case niyang iba, nadismiss na rin. Na-ano na siya, na-served sentence na rin… Siguro hindi na-reconcile,” Menor said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net.
(It was found out that his other case was dismissed. He also served the sentence. Maybe it just was not reconciled.)
In an interview with reporters, Topacio said the Piston members will be receiving assistance from a donation drive which will also benefit other jeepney drivers.
“Ang Piston kasama ng progresibong grupo kasama nung panahon ng pandemya. Hindi huminto ‘yan sa pagtulong ng drivers. May donation drive itong anim na ito mukhang maganda ang resulta. Maaalaga naman ‘yung Piston drivers; sila na mismo nagsabi na tutulungan nila based sa nakukuha nilang tulong,” Topacio said outside the Caloocan police station.
(The Piston is also coordinating with progressive groups during the pandemic. They have not stopped offering assistance to drivers. The Piston 6 has a donation drive which had good results. The Piston drivers will be taken care of and they themselves said that they will help other drivers based on what they receive.)
Severino Ramos, Ramon Paloma, Ruben Baylon, and Arsenio Ymas Jr. — four out of six detained Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) members — were allowed to leave jail after posting a P3,000 bail on Monday, June 8.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.