Friday, September 17, 2021

Anakpawis members released on bail

THE arrested members of the left-leaning Anakpawis party-list group posted bail on Wednesday evening, Central Luzon Police Director Rhodel Sermonia said on Thursday.

Sermonia said each of the six arrested activists posted P36,000 for the case of inciting to sedition and P3,000 for violation of Republic Act 11332, the law that provides policies and prescribes procedures on surveillance and response to notifiable diseases, epidemics, and health events of public health concern.

Former Anakpawis party-list representative Ariel Barring Casilao, on the other hand, posted P30,000 bail bond for violation of RA 11332 and usurpation of authority.

Karl Mae San Juan, Robero Medel, Raymar Guaves and Tobi Estrada, all from Quezon City, Marlon Lester Gueta from Caloocan City and Eriberto Peña Jr. from San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan were arrested on April 19 at a quarantine checkpoint in Barangay Bigte Norzagaray in Bulacan after failing to present any pertinent documents to support their travel.

They claimed to be on their way to a relief operation as indicated by the tarpaulin posters hanging on both sides of their vehicle.

However, during the conduct of initial visual inspection, police found beneath the food packs some pamphlets, magazines and circulars with allegedly subversive content.

The police said it indicated that the group was planning an anti-government activity in the guise of a relief operations.

Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said members of Anakpawis will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for flouting the rules set by the government during this pandemic.

"They were in violation of ECQ guidelines at the time when the entire country is struggling to contain the coronavirus to prevent further transmission. Ang ganitong mga paglabag ay hindi lamang taliwas sa batas ngunit isang banta sa kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan," he said.

"Now that they have posted bail, we hope that they will not do it again dahil hindi naman tayo magdadalawang-isip na dakpin silang muli," he added.

Año said aside from violating quarantine measures, the Anakpawis members also took advantage of the provision granted to food pass holders, the document presented by the group during their attempt to get past at checkpoint.

“The Anakpawis incident was a clear demonstration of how food pass can be exploited for malicious intents in the guise of relief operation for the poor. Sinabi na din po ng Department of Agriculture (DA) na hindi po maaaring gamitin ang food pass sa pamamahagi ng relief goods,” he said.

In a statement on Wednesday, Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar has clarified that the food pass is a privilege given to producers, suppliers and truckers that procure and deliver agri-fishery commodities and other food products to and from Manila and other provinces during the observance of the enhanced community quarantine and cannot be used for relief operations. (SunStar Philippines)


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