S. Leyte gov facing kidnapping charges
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - November 16, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The governor of Southern Leyte is facing kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges for allegedly ordering the arrest and detention of 11 workers of a gravel and sand company in the province.

Lawyer Winsor Calamba, who represents the complainants, said yesterday he filed the charges against Gov. Roger Mercado, Senior Police Officer 1 Rogelio Orit, Police Officer 3 Giovanni Galo, Police Officer 2 Windee Lim, Rafael Cromwell Gerong, Eva Abad and Noel Mercado with the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Maasin last Oct. 16.

Calamba said he also filed charges for grave misconduct and abuse of authority against Mercado.

He said he asked the Office of the President to suspend the governor to prevent him from influencing the results of the case.

The lawyer said the police officers allegedly did not produce any warrant when they arrested and forced the workers into a government-owned vehicle last Oct. 10.

The arrests apparently stemmed from a case filed by businessmen Ernesto Dacay, Ma. Selena Salas, Rodolfo Servacio and Ceasar Servacio, who opposed a 277-percent increase in fees for the extraction of sand and gravel reportedly implemented by the provincial government in December 2013.

Calamba said a local court ruled in favor of the businessmen. He said Mercado reportedly defied the ruling when he ordered the arrest of the workers.

CALAMBA ERNESTO DACAY EVA ABAD AND NOEL MERCADO GIOVANNI GALO LAWYER WINSOR CALAMBA MERCADO OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT POLICE OFFICER PROVINCIAL PROSECUTOR RAFAEL CROMWELL GERONG RODOLFO SERVACIO AND CEASAR SERVACIO
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