THE family of former SunStar columnist Margarita “Gingging” Valle said her arrest is not a case of a mistaken identity but the state have clearly targeted her.
“Mistaken identity is but a ludicrous propaganda of the PNP (Philippine National Police) in the advent of the public outrage and pressure to surface and release our Nanay Gingging,” the family said in a statement on Tuesday, June 11. The statement was released to the media by her son, Rius Valle.
Gingging’s camp is eyeing legal actions to the incident.
“No stones should be left unturned and the police officers involved should be held accountable for this heinous incident,” the statement read.
Valle, current columnist for Davao Today, was reportedly arrested at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental but was later released from the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Zamboanga Peninsula after approximately 12 hours of detention and walked out of Camp Abelon in Pagadian City at 11:18 p.m.
The family said Valle’s fundamental rights were violated.
“Gingging Valle was arrested and remained incommunicado for about eight hours. She was not allowed to be assisted by counsel, to be appraised of the charges against her and to examine the purported warrant/s that was made the basis of her arrest,” Gingging’s family said.
They also said authorities made her undergo “physical, emotional, and psychological anguish without due regard and consideration to her health condition.”
Authorities cited her arrest was a “mistaken identity” to one Elsa Renton.
Gingging is now safe but she will need to undergo physical check-up and debriefing as soon as possible.
According to a gathered report from the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Philippine Press Institute (PPI), MindaNews, and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) from June 30, 2016 until April 30 this year, there are already five journalists arrested under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) apologized to and sought for the understanding of Gingging and her family.
In a statement on Monday evening, June 10, 2019, CIDG Zamboanga Peninsula chief Tom Tuazon offered his “sincerest apologies” to Gingging.
“Due to uncertainties and less than 100-percent assurance of your identity from our informant, we have brought you to CIDG Office, Pagadian City that caused you unnecessary anxiety. We do realize that we should have heeded your call regarding your identity from the start and have released you at the airport,” Tuazon said.
“We sincerely request your understanding since that the information given to our detectives on the ground is already a Warrant of Arrest and that the identity of the person on the warrant is only known to the complainant himself,” he added.
Tuazon also noted that the information which resulted in the arrest of Valle came from their “reliable source” in the military. He said they should have re-validated the information before acting on it.
He assured that an investigation would be conducted on the failed operation to identify the lapses of the police personnel involved and hold them accountable. (RGL with SunStar Philippines)/b>