No bail! RTC orders arrest of Ilocos Sur mayor for serious illegal detention

The Ilocos Sur regional trial court has ordered the arrest of Cabugao town Mayor Josh Edward Cobangbang for a non-bailable offense of serious illegal detention.

In the two-page order, Cabugao RTC branch 24 Judge Raphiel Alzate directed the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation to arrest the mayor and 18 others after they were accused of padlocking a local beach resort with its operator and four-year-old son still inside.

“The Head of Office to whom this Warrant of Arrest is delivered for execution shall cause it to be executed within 10 days receipt thereof. Within 10 days after expiration of the period, the officer to whom it was assigned for execution shall make a return/report to the undersigned and in case of failure to execute the same, said officer shall state the reasons thereof,” read the order.

Also, the court ordered the issuance of a separate warrant of arrest for grave coercion against Cobangbang, and bail was set at P36,000 for each of them.

The arrest warrant was issued after the court upheld the finding of probable cause in the complaint filed by Virginia Ong stemming from the closure of the local government-owned Cabugao Beach Resort (CBR) in 2017.

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