A CIVIL court failed to arraign on Friday the 43 health workers, suspected to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, a military spokesman reported.

Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Romeo Brawner said all the detainees, who were recently arrested by security forces in Morong, Rizal while on a bomb-making training, were transported to the Morong regional trial court from their detention cell in Camp Capinpin, home of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, in Tanay town around 8:30 a.m. for the court proceedings.

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“However, (the) arraignment was not done because of the opposing arguments from the Morong 43 lawyers. It was postponed and will be set later by the court,” said Brawner, elaborating on the arguments at the courtroom.

“Relatives (of the detainees) and media were not allowed inside the compound during the proceedings as ordered by d presiding judge. It was generally peaceful and orderly,” Brawner also said.

He said the 43 were brought back to their detention facility around 10:45 a.m. “with no untoward incident.”

The 43 are charged with illegal possession of explosives and firearms before the court after yielding such materials during the February 6 raid at a farmhouse in Morong town. The raid was conducted by a joint team from the military and the police.

Leftist organizations, including the human rights group Karapatan, and the detainee’s relatives said the suspects are mere health workers. They also said the evidence seized from them were merely planted. (VR/Sunnex)