Bong Go tells arrested activists: Warrants wouldn’t be served without basis | Inquirer News
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Bong Go tells arrested activists: Warrants wouldn’t be served without basis

/ 09:58 PM December 11, 2020
Bong Go

Sen. Bong Go. (Screen grab/Senate PRIB file photo)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Bong Go has reminded activists arrested on the International Human Rights Day that search warrants and arrest orders are not being done without basis, despite claims from groups that the firearms seen were planted.

Go explained on Friday that activists should not criticize the police officers doing the arrests — which included six trade unionists workers plus journalist and Manila Today editor Lady Ann Salem — because they are only implementing orders issued by the courts.

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“Di naman po sila aarestuhin kung wala pong pagbabasehan, kung walang warrant of arrest,” Go told reporters after a program in Marikina City.

(They won’t be arrested without any basis, and if there is no warrant of arrest.)

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“So ibig sabihin kung may warrant of arrest ka, dumaan na po ‘yan sa korte, sila naman po nag-iissue ng warrant, nagpapatupad lang po sa pag-aresto ang ating militar at ating kapulisan,” he added.

(So if you have a warrant of arrest, it means it went through the court and it issues a warrant, so the police and military only enforces these arrest orders.)

However, activists including Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate noted of the similarities in the arrests of the seven individuals and the raids conducted in 2019, where activist Reina Mae Nasino was arrested.

Zarate questioned why the same judge — Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89 Judge Cecilyn E. Burgos-Villavert — issued the search warrants of the previous and recent raids.

Bayan Muna questioned in 2019 why then National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Gen. Debold Sinas, now Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, held a dialogue with Villavert before the arrests made in Bacolod.

During the separate raids in Quezon City, Manila, and in Mandaluyong where Salem was nabbed, authorities claimed to have seized more than a dozen pistols, long rifles, several grenades and ammunition, and other pieces of evidence like laptops and cellphones.

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Go, a long-time ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, then urged the activists to respect the Chief Executive’s term and instead run in the next elections.

“Ulitin ko lang po, may karapatan kayong magsalita, meron kayong karapatan to criticize the government, pero wala kayong karapatan to destroy the government.  Eh pinili ng tao ‘yan eh, this is democracy, pinili ‘yan for a period of six years, fixed po ‘yang term na ‘yan,” the senator said.

(I will repeat, you have the right to speak, the right to criticize the government.  But you have no right to destroy the government.  They were chosen by the people, that is democracy, they were elected for period of six years, that is a fixed term.)

“Respetuhin niyo lang, hintayin niyo na lang po ang inyong panahon, eh meron naman pong election, eh di tumakbo po kayo sa election at kung gusto niyo po na kayo ang mamuno dito sa ating bansa,” he added.

(Just respect it, and wait for your time and turn, because we have an elections.  If you want, run for the elections if you want to lead the country.)

JPV

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TAGS: activists International Human Rights Day, alternative news site, CIDG, Court order, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Human rights, Journalist, Lady Ann Salem, Manila Today, Phil‎ippine National Police, Philippine news updates, PNP‎, red tag, search warrants, Senator Bong Go
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