'Non-cooperation' raps vs ten Marikina relief workers junked
Those arrested are workers of #BayanihangMarikenyaMarikenyo and Lingap Gabriela including Dimple Paz and Batibot Learning Center teachers Lita Malundras and Ronel Artizuela. Seven Public Utility Vehicle drivers were also arrested.
Gabriela Women's Party, via Twitter

'Non-cooperation' raps vs ten Marikina relief workers junked

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - February 17, 2021 - 5:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — The prosecution has junked the criminal complaints, alleging among others “non-cooperation” during a public health emergency, filed against ten volunteer relief workers arrested in Marikina City on Labor Day in 2020.

Assistant City Prosecutor David Gadit Jr. dismissed the complaints for violation of Batas Pambansa 880 or the Public Assembly Act, Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code or disobedience to authorities, and violation of Republic Act 11332 against the ten “for lack of probable cause and insufficiency of evidence.”

The resolution is dated Oct. 20, 2020, but was released publicly Wednesday.

The prosecution dismissed the complaint for violation of RA 11332 or “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act” as it held that prohibited acts cited in the law are not present in the case.

“None of the foregoing circumstances are present in this case,” the resolution read.

BP 880 and disobedience raps to authorities junked too

The ten were arrested while they were conducting a community feeding program operation in Marikina City on May 1, 2020. Garbiela Women’s Party said the ten were volunteers of #BayanihanMarikenyaMarikenyo, including seven Public Utility Vehicle drivers.

They underwent inquest, but the prosecutor converted the proceedings into a preliminary investigation due to insufficiency of evidence at that time.

The prosecution held that they cannot be held liable under BP 880 as Section 13(a) prohibits the holding of public assembly by any “leader or organizer,” and the police officers “failed to identify the leader or organizer, if there is any, of the subject mass gathering.”

Gadit also said there is lack of probable cause to charge the respondents with disobedience to authority as “not all elements of the crime are present.”

“Also, it is unclear what lawful order was given to the respondents that they allegedly disobeyed or in what manner did they resist or disobey the arresting police officers,” the resolution read in part.

RA 11332 against quarantine violators

The ten faced the same complaints filed against those deemed as “quarantine violators” during the period of enhanced community quarantine in parts of the country in 2020. 

Complaints of "non-cooperation" under RA 11332 were also filed and subsequently junked against supposed quarantine violators, such as activists on their way to a relief operation in Norzagaray, Bulacan and protesters outside the University of the Philippines Cebu in June.

Early in the lockdown, in March 2020, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said quarantine violators may face arrest under this law or for disobedience under Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code.

Thousands have been arrested and detained in the long months of the quarantine. The STAR reported last October 25 that 123,994 quarantine violators had been detained since March, with most arrested for resistance and disobedience.

But national prosecution service itself had limited the application of RA 11332 on quarantine offenses as it held reporting under the said law is only for public health authorities in clearing Sen. Koko Pimentel of his breach of quarantine protocols.

In the same resolution, the prosecution dismissed the “non-cooperation” complaint against the senator when he left the hospital after learning he was infected with the coronavirus.

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