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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, November 9, 2019
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Non-bailable cases filed
vs. 2 Escalante activists


The Escalante City prosecutor has filed charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives against two members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers before the San Carlos City Regional Trial Court in Negros Occidental, Capt. Cenon Pancito, Army 3ID public affairs officer, said yesterday.

The charges were filed against Ma. Lindy Balaobao Perocho, 53, and Imelda Pasinabo Sultan, 50, who were arrested by Army and police operatives in Escalante City on November 1.

They are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 10591 or illegal possession of firearms, and Republic Act 9516, or illegal possession of explosives that is non-bailable, Pancito said.

Sultan, a member of the NFSW legal staff, was arrested at the NFSW office, and Perocho was nabbed at her house in Barangay Jonob-jonob, both in Escalante City, in simultaneous raids at about 4:30 a.m. on November 1.

Pancito linked both women to the New People’s Army.

Sultan and Perocho, however, maintained that the firearms and explosives were all planted.

The inquest resolutions against the two were penned by Associate Prosecution Attorney II Ericson Cepida and approved by Escalante City Prosecutor Ranela de la Fuente.

The Bacolod City prosecutor also filed cases for illegal possession of firearms and explosives against 11 activists before the Bacolod Regional Trial Court on Wednesday, with no bail recommended for seven of them.

They were arrested during police and Army raids in Bacolod City on October 31 along with 31 others who were released for lack of probable cause.

The seven facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives that are non-bailable offenses are Romulo Bito-on – Bayan Muna partylist leader and his wife, Mermalyn Bito-on, Albert de la Cerna – Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Negros organizer, Noli Rosales – Kilusang Mayo Uno Negros secretary general, Proceso Quiatchon – Karapatan Negros regional coordinator, Cheryl Catalogo, and Karina dela Cerna.

The four facing charges for possession of firearms that are bailable offenses are Mary Anne Krueger – alternative media outlet Paghimutad, John Milton Lozande – National Federation of Sugarcane Workers secretary general, Roberto Lachica and Danilo Tabura of NFSW.

They have yet to post bail, Pancito said.*


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