8 charged for SONA attack on cops
Bebot Sison Jr., Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Eight leaders of militant groups are facing criminal charges in connection with the violence that marred President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July.

The militants allegedly held two policemen against their will by shoving them into a passenger jeepney, beating them up and robbing them of their personal belongings during an anti-SONA rally.

The charge sheet listed Antonio Flores, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas secretary general; Mark Adrian Ng, Hermie Marasigan, Perla Ipong and Renato Reyes, all of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan; Arjie Manalo, Gabriela secretary general; Vencer Crisostomo of Anakbayan and Ferdinand Gaite of Courage.

The Quezon City prosecutor’s office has set the case for preliminary investigation.

The eight were charged with violating Batas Pambansa 880 or the Public Assembly Act of 1985; serious illegal detention ( a non-bailable offense); assault upon an agent of a person in authority and robbery, based on complaints filed by Chief Inspector Antonio Ananayo Jr. and Police Officer 1 Reden Malagonio, both of the National Capital Region Police Office’s Regional Public Safety Battalion.

The complainants were on duty at the time of the attack.

As a result of the beating, Ananayo said he sustained life-threatening severe internal head injuries that required surgery to remove blood clots that developed in his brain.

Reyes questioned the filing of the case.

“The charges are baseless. We weren’t even present when the alleged incident happened. The complaint itself does not specify what acts were committed by each respondent,” he said.

SC junks protection plea

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) has junked a petition by four militant lawmakers seeking protection against alleged threats to them by the police and military.

In a decision promulgated Tuesday, justices of the high court decided to dismiss outright for lack of merit the petition for writ of amparo and habeas data filed by party-list Reps. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, Emmie de Jesus of Gabriela and former representatives Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis and Teddy Casiño of Bayan Muna last September.

“In the present petition, petitioners fail to show how their right to privacy is violated given that the information contained in the rogues’ gallery is only their photographs, their names, and their position in their respective organizations,” the SC said.

“All these data are of public knowledge, and are readily accessible to anyone as petitioners are known personalities,” the ruling added.

Aside from protection, they also asked the SC to issue a writ of habeas data requiring the Armed Forces of the Philippines to disclose information gathered from the petitioners, who are supposedly included in a “hit list” after helping some 700 lumads who fled their villages and schools in Davao del Norte. – With Edu Punay

ACIRC ANTONIO FLORES ARJIE MANALO ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN BATAS PAMBANSA BAYAN MUNA CARLOS ZARATE OF BAYAN MUNA CHIEF INSPECTOR ANTONIO ANANAYO JR. AND POLICE OFFICER HERMIE MARASIGAN JESUS OF GABRIELA
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