Labor leader indicted for possession of illegal explosives, firearms case
MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office has indicted trade union leader Dennise Velasco for complaints of illegal possession of explosives and firearms.
In a statement to reporters on Thursday, Lawyer Ephraim Cortez, secretary general of the National Union People’s Lawyers, said the prosecutor recommended that the case for violation of Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Law to be filed against Velasco.
Cortez also noted that the prosecutor did not find probable cause to file a complaint for illegal possession of explosives against Velasco.
Velasco already posted P150,000 bail for charges of illegal possession of firearms and was ordered released, Cortez said.
However, the prosecutor’s office amended its resolution, charging Velasco for illegal possession of explosives.
“Upon re-evaluation and finding the argument of the complainant (police) to be meritorious, the same is hereby granted. The respondent is hereby indicted for violation of section 3 of presidential decree No. 1866 as amended by Republic Act No. 9516 for the hand grenades,” read the resolution dated Dec. 22.
“The respondent is also indicted for violation of Section 28(b) of Republic Act No. 10951 for the .22 caliber Astra pistol, the .22 caliber Bernadilli pistol and the .9 mm pistol with magazines and ammunition,” it added.
The prosecutor’s office did not recommend bail for the illegal possession of explosives complaint.
The QC prosecutor amended its resolution after the complainant argued, through filing an ex-parte urgent motion for reconsideration, that although the hand grenade was not included in the search warrant issued by the court, “they should still be included in the indictments for they were discovered in plain view.”
Velasco was arrested for reported illegal possession of firearms and explosives during an early morning raid inside his house in Barangay Greater Lagro, Novaliches, Quezon City last Dec. 10, on international human rights day.
The raid came after members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group served the search warrant issued by Executive Judge Cecilyn E. Burgos-Villavert of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89 for violation of Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
Lawmakers previously asked the high court to look into the factory of warrants issued against activists. They also questioned Villavert, who issued warrants which were responsible for the raids last Dec.10.