THE Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) in Cagayan de Oro City released the four “persons of interest” held for allegedly using fake identification (ID) cards after the four posted P6,000 bail each.
Authorities said Bashit Unti, Ameroding Unte, Abdel Hamid Cali and Abubacar Ibrahem, all residents of Maging, Lanao del Sur, were able to post bail and were released on Tuesday, June 27.
The four men were charged with falsification by a private individual and use of falsified documents under Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code.
Maritime police caught the four men while members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Northern Mindanao apprehended another "person of interest" identified as Alinor Dimaporo for also using fake a ID during the security inspection at the Macabalan port last June 19.
The five “persons of interest” were supposed to board a vessel bound for Manila via Bacolod City when they were held following what authorities called “acting suspicious” and then showing security personnel fake IDs.
Dimaporo was freed on June 22, three days after authorities failed to press charges against him while the four others who claimed to be Muslim missionaries spent more than a week at the Maritime police station.
Police Officer 2 (PO2) Vern Sal Sevilla, case investigator of the 1001st Maritime Police Station, said the court will still try the four accused in court as authorities dared them to prove their identities.
"Bisan gi-release na sila kay nakapyansa padayon gihapon ang kaso I think sa August ang first hearing," Sevilla said.
Sevilla said based on their investigation, the four "Islamic preachers" were in Basilan and were setting out for Manila to join an event when the extremists attacked Marawi City.
Sevilla added the four admitted that their IDs were forged in Basilan when they were informed that they could no longer enter cities without IDs due to strict checkpoints following the declaration of martial law.
The maritime police said the schools reflected on the ID confirmed that the laminated cards were fictitious.
Meanwhile, the four bank personnel similarly held by the PCG last June 25 have been freed after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had trashed the rebellion charges filed against them.
UCPB-Velez Cagayan de Oro branch teller Rhodelle Nagac, operations manager Rolando Limbo Jr., and branch manager Ma. Cecilia Lim; and UCPB security guards Leonilo Enterina, Reynaldo Puyos and Rolly Cervantes Estribor walked out of detention after being held for five days on suspicion the money they were transporting to Cebu City was connected to groups fighting the government.
The PCG on Sunday night arrested Nagac, Limbo, Enterina, and Puyos at the Port of Macabalan in Cagayan de Oro after they failed to show proper documents for the transport of P32.8 million in cash from the UCPB Velez branch to Jones Avenue branch in Cebu City.
According to the panel, although there were lapses in respondents' arrest, these are not sufficient for the suspects to be charged for the crime of rebellion.
Recalling their ordeal in the PCG holding, Enterina could only say that they received proper treatment inside the holding area of the PCG.
"Oo well-accommodated sad me didto. Dako ang room ug aircon pa man gani. Limpyo sad and CR ug regular ang paghatag nila sa among pagkaon. (Yes, we were well-accommodated there. The room was large and even air conditioned. The comfort rooms were also clean and they gave us food regularly)," Enterina said.