JUSTICE Secretary Leila De Lima promised to review her department's ruling finding probable cause for illegal possession of firearms and explosive against 43 health workers who were arrested in Morong, Rizal.

De Lima said the review was to determine if there was really enough evidences to prosecute the so-called Morong 43, who were likewise suspected of being members of the New People's Army.

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She said that as a former chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, she is familiar with the case after the respondent militants belonging to the group Community Medicine Development Foundation (Commed) questioned their arrest and detention.

"We have to make sure na talagang may sapat na basehan ang pagpa-file ng charges."

The DOJ chief admitted that there had been some moves asking her to revisit the case even though no motion for review has been filed at her office yet.

In March this year, the Court of Appeals' Special Division of Five affirmed the validity of the arrest and detention of the suspects and dismissed the petition for habeas corpus filed by their relatives.

Voting 3-2, the CA magistrates held that petitioners cannot avail of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus considering that criminal charges have already been filed against them before the courts.

The Office of the Solicitor General, which represented the public respondents during the hearing, maintained that the arrest and detention of the Morong 43 are legal, citing the criminal information filed against them by the DOJ.

Of the 43, three were held for illegal possession of firearms while the 40 are facing the non-bailable offense of illegal possession of explosive devices. (JCV/Sunnex)