Friday, September 5, 2014

2 detained UP grads transferred to San Jose City jail

SAN JOSE CITY, Nueva Ecija–Two detained University of the Philippines graduates who were arrested by police and military operatives last month and charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives were ordered transferred by a Regional Trial Court from their detention cell at the provincial public safety company (PPSC) to the district jail in this city.

          Senior Superintendent Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, said Gerald Salonga and Guiller Cadano were brought by the Bureau of Jail and Management and Penology at 3 pm Wednesday.

          The two were transported under heavy security by a police team led by Inspector Allan Batle which was dispatched by PPSC commander, Superintendent Ricardo Villanueva.

          Nieves said the transfer was in compliance with a commitment order issued by San Jose City RTC 39 Judge Cynthia Martinez-Florendo. They were received at 7 pm Wednesday by Jail Officer 2 Renato C. Fernandez Jr.

          The two are facing charges for violations of Republic Act 10591 and Republic Act 9516.

          Salonga and Cadano were arrested by joint teams from the Army’s 7th Infantry Division and the Nueva Ecija police in a house in Barangay R.T. Padilla, Carranglan town on August 9. The lawmen were serving an arrest warrant to suspected New People’s Army commander Ely Taray, also known as Ka Emong.

          The military said the two were platoon guides of the NPA unit operating in Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Pangasinan provinces. But they identified themselves to arresting teams as organizers of the youth groups Kabataan and Anakbayan.  

          Cadano and Salonga are Pi Sigma and Sigma Kappa Pi fraternity members, respectively. They obtained degrees in business management and psychology, respectively at the UP Diliman Extension program  in Pampanga province at Clark Freeport.

          Cecil Ruiz, chair of the human rights watchdog Karapatan in Central Luzon, said the arrest warrant was for Taray, not for Cadana and Salonga which is a blatant violation of the two former UP students’ human rights.

          Ruiz said the two were forced by their captors to admit they were NPA rebels during interrogation, a claim which the military and police denied.

          Villanueva said the two were treated well in the PPSC compound where they were detained. 

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