Lawyer of jailed Bicol activist questions legality of arrest
LEGAZPI CITY—The legal counsel of one of the two activists who were arrested in Camarines Sur and Albay provinces will move to invalidate the search conducted by the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
Lawyer Bart Rayco of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Albay chapter, said he would submit in court a petition questioning the legality of the search warrant that the CIDG obtained from a court here, which enabled authorities to search the home and arrest National Council of Churches in the Philippines pastor Danilo “Dan” Balucio, also secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Bicol.
Balucio underwent inquest proceedings before the provincial prosecutor’s office on Monday. His case will be raffled on Thursday and the court will decide if it will grant him bail, said Rayco.
Still in custody
Rayco said that since their camp chose to have inquest proceedings, the motion to quash the search warrant will be filed before the handling court.
Balucio was arrested following a search at his home in Sto. Domingo town of Albay at 4 a.m. on Sunday where police claimed they found illegal firearms and explosives.
Meanwhile, Sasah Sta. Rosa, spokesperson for Jovenes Anakbayan, who was arrested in Naga City in Camarines Sur on Sunday, remained in police custody as of Monday.
Sta. Rosa was held after a gun and explosives were allegedly found at her house following a 3 a.m. search by CIDG agents.
Ateneo De Naga University (Adnu) president Fr. Roberto Rivera, SJ said he visited Sta. Rosa, a student of Adnu, at the police jail on Sunday evening and was assured she was treated well.
In a statement on Monday, Rivera said lawyer Carlos Cortes, a retired Free Legal Assistance Group volunteer, was providing legal aid to Sta. Rosa to ensure that due process of law is followed in her case.
The family of another youth activist, Justine Mesias, denied police claims that he possessed guns and explosives.
Police searched Mesias’ alleged house in Daraga town in Albay on Sunday and found a gun and explosives during the search.
Justine’s mother, Jocelyn, said she and her children did not live in the raided house, as it was only occupied by her brother, their 71-year-old mother and a niece.
—REPORTS FROM MAR ARGUELLES AND STEPHANIE FLORIDA INQ
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