PNP-CIDG maintains no irregularity in arrests of journo, 6 labor leaders
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) maintained on Monday (Dec. 14) that there was no irregularity in the arrest of Manila Today editor Lady Ann Salem and six union leaders last week.
At a press briefing, PNP-CIDG director Maj. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel said that the police operations leading to the arrests were covered by search warrants from the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89.
“These warrants have been applied for, based on information, credible and reliable, provided by informants to the court who examined these witnesses under oath,” he said.
He added that the CIDG was ready to address claims from other groups that raised alleged irregularities in the police operations.
“So far, based also on the information provided by the operating units and even members of the media who are present at that time, there are no reports indicating that such a violation has been committed,” said Coronel.
“The operation was compliant with police operational procedures. We have observed due process,” he said.
Aside from Salem, those arrested in a series of police operations last December 10 as the nation marked International Human Rights Day were labor organizers Dennise Velasco, Joel Demate, Rodrigo Esparago, Mark Ryan Cruz, Romina Raiselle Astudillo and Jaymie Gregorio.
Police said they were arrested on charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
The University of the Philippines’ College of Mass Communication denounced the arrest of Salem, its alumna, whom it said has been red-tagged in the past.
“Her advocacy is her identity, even if it is now apparently the reason for her arrest and detention,” the college said.