MERGE Lawyer Jose Max Ortiz (center) fetches his clients, the 21 terminated workers, after their release from detention at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City, yesterday.* (Marchel Espina photo)

31 freed, raps filed vs. 11

The Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday ordered the filing of charges against 11 activists arrested in a series of raids on offices and a house of progressive organizations in Bacolod City before the Regional Trial Court, and the immediate release of 31 others for lack of probable cause.

Arrested in raids at four sites on October 31 were 55 persons, 13 of whom were minors. The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group filed charges against the arrested adults and 15 others who are at large for illegal possession of firearms and explosives on Monday.

Assistant City Prosecutor Fernand Castro, in four separate resolutions approved by OIC City Prosecutor Dennis Jarder yesterday, recommended the filing of charges against 11, of whom four can post bail. moremoremore

Solons seek mass arrest probe

Progressive leaders in the House of Representatives are seeking an investigation on the arrest of 44 individuals in simultaneous raids in the cities of Bacolod and Escalante last week.

They were also in Bacolod City for a two-day national solidarity mission to visit the arrested individuals, 31 of whom were released from detention yesterday, and to conduct fact-finding on the raids that were said to be a crackdown on activists and people's organizations.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said they filed Tuesday a resolution directing the House committee on human rights to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the mass arrest of leaders of progressive organizations and activists in Negros Island by the police and military, as well as the reported planting of firearms, explosives and other evidence. moremoremore


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Passing the buck?


Meat, chicken prices soar, pork down

Prices of meat and poultry products have soared while prices of pork decreased from July to October in Negros Occidental, because of the African swine fever scare, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said yesterday.

PVO reported an increase of P1.83 in the price of beef, P3.22 in chevon, and P1.66 in dressed chicken while prices of eggs increased by P0.02 (small) and P0.22 for salted eggs.

The price of pork, meanwhile, showed a significant decrease of P14.95 per kilogram, or 6.84 percent, from P218.50 in July to P203.74 in October this year, the PVO said.