Mar 5, 2021 @ 17:41

Court orders release of lady journo, labor organizer

The Mandaluyong City regional trial court on Friday ordered the release of journalist Lady Ann Salem from alternative news site Manila Today and labor organizer Rodrigo Esparago who were arrested in an early morning raids on International Human Rights Day last December 10.

This was after Branch 209 Judge Monique Quisumbing-Ignacio granted their motion for release after junking the illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges filed against her and Esparago.

Last February 5, Quisumbing-Ignacio dismissed the charges against them after granting the joint omnibus motion to quash search warrant, to suppress evidence, and to declare inadmissible illegaly seized items.

Also, the court likewise ordered the seized evidence like guns, explosives, and ammunition excluded and expunged.

Salem, Esparago, and labor organizers Mark Ryan Cruz, Romina Astudillo, Jaymie Gregorio, Dennise Velasco, and Joel Demate were arrested in early morning raids on International Human Rights Day last December 10.

They were arrested in simultaneous raids in Quezon City, Mandaluyong City, and Manila based on five search warrants issued by Quezon City Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert.

They were arrested over illegal possession of firearms and explosives, which the rights group said were “trumped-up and fabricated charges.”

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