Issue of February 19, 2017

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Two suspects in Philex trucks burning post bail
by Ofelia C. Empian

Two of three suspects in the burning of the two trucks of Philex Mining Corporation have posted bail last week after being detained for two days at Camp Bado Dangwa, regional headquarters of the Cordillera police command.

Arrested suspects Marciano Passon Sagun and Sarah Abellon-Alikes posted P250,000 each through their lawyers Reynaldo Cortes and Richard Abellon, Jr. on Feb. 11.

The release order was signed and approved by Judge Jennifer P. Humiding of First Judicial Region, Regional Trial Court in La Trinidad, Benguet.

Suspect Promencio Cortez also known as Antonio Indian Cabalse is still detained after a warrant of arrest was served to him for three cases of murder and one case of rebellion in Abra, according to Cordillera police Information Officer C/Insp.  Carolina Lacuata.

The three suspects are facing arson and robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons under Article 294 of the revised penal code.

The trio, who are suspects in burning of trucks responsible of the burning of two trucks on Feb. 9 in Sitio Tapak Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet, are alleged members of the New Peoples Army’s Chadli Molintas Command.

The trucks were supposed to ship ore to Poro Point in San Fernando City, La Union when they were stopped along the area by armed masked men. The drivers and escorts of the trucks were  unharmed. 

Meanwhile, militant groups have decried the arrest of one of the suspects, Abellon-Alikes, a non-government organization development worker and activist. She is a member of the board of directors of the Regional Development Center-Kattinulong dagiti Umili ti Amianan.

For human rights watchdog Cordillera Human Rights Alliance, the government’s declaration of war has led to a vilification campaign among activists including the case of Abellon-Alikes.

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