Jun 11, 2021 @ 18:45

PNP probe on Mandaluyong judge red-tagging still in limbo; but CJ remains hopeful

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo on Friday expressed hope that the Philippine National Police (PNP) could finally finish its investigation into the red-tagging of a Mandaluyong City regional trial court judge.

“We have yet to receive a report from the PNP I think on who’s responsible for putting up those tarpaulins along EDSA. We are coordinating with the police on this. In fact, when we had a courtesy call from the former PNP chief (Debold Sinas), there are a number of matters that we took up with them,” Gesmundo said in his first Meet the Press event.

“Hopefully, when we meet the new Chief PNP (Guillermo Eleazar), we can be updated,” Gesmundo added.

Mandaluyong City RTC Judge Monique Quisumbing-Ignacio was red-tagged after she dismissed the cases filed against alternative media journalist Lady Ann Salem and labor leader Rodrigo Esparago.

A tarpaulin at the corner of Shaw Boulevard and EDSA read: “Maraming salamat Judge Monique Quisumbing-Ignacio, RTC Branch 209, Mandaluyong City sa mabilis na paglaya ng kasamahan nating Lady Ann Salem at Rodrigo Esparago. Tuloy ang laban! Mabuhay.

The logo of the Communist Party of the Philippines appeared at the bottom of the tarpaulin.

But CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena denied that his group has something to do with the tarpaulin.

“CPP disowns tarp found in Metro Manila in w/c CPP/NPA/NDF purportedly thanks judge who dismissed case against 2 HRDay polprisoners.”

Judge Quisumbing-Ignacio ordered the release from detention of Salem and Esparago who were arrested on International Human Rights Day last December 10.

This as the judge granted the motion for release of Salem and Esparago.

Last February 5, Quisumbing-Ignacio dismissed the charges against them (illegal possession of firearms explosives) 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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