Court acquits couple charged with having links to communist due to technicality | Inquirer News
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Court acquits couple charged with having links to communist due to technicality

/ 09:50 PM August 12, 2021
Court acquits couple charged with having links to communist due to technicality

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MANILA, Philippines—A couple charged for having ties with the communist movement has been acquitted by the General Santos City Regional Trial Court.

In an order made public Thursday, acquitted are Edgar and Regina Patulombon.

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The two were arrested in 2015. Authorities recovered a .38 revolver and two fragmentation grenades. They were charged for violation of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The court, in an order signed by Judge Dennis Velasco, the two have been subjected to custodial investigation without the presence of a lawyer and without informing of their rights.

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“These are the so-called ‘Miranda rights’ so oftenly disregarded by our men in uniform. Infractions thereof render inadmissible the extrajudicial confession or admission made during the custodial investigation,” the court said.

It added that “concededly, the accused was not informed of his right to remain silent and to have his own counsel by the investigating policemen during the custodial investigation. Neither did he execute a written waiver of these rights in accordance with the constitutional prescriptions.”

The court has granted the demurrer to evidence filed by the two and ordered their release from custody.

A demurrer to evidence is, in effect, a motion to dismiss filed by the accused after the prosecution finished its presentation of evidence. The demurrer is anchored on the ground that the evidence presented by the prosecution is insufficient.

Recently, another court has also acquitted former Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman and New People’s Army (NPA) commander Rodolfo Salas of illegal possession of firearms following the warrantless search conducted by authorities.

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TAGS: demurrer to evidence, Miranda rights, red tag
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