S. Leyte gov denies kidnap charges
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - November 17, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The governor of Southern Leyte yesterday denied the charges filed against him by a lawyer for allegedly kidnapping and detaining the 11 workers of a sand and gravel company.

In a text message, Gov. Roger Mercado said the workers were caught in a barge loaded with crushed sand and gravel that was about to depart Southern Leyte.

Mercado said the workers failed to show the provincial environment and police officers permits for the transport of the sand and gravel. He said the workers were taken to the provincial police headquarters for questioning.

The governor said the workers violated the mining law, which prompted the provincial government to file charges for theft of minerals against the owner and crewmembers of the vessel. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau supported the charges, Mercado said.

The provincial government was implementing a campaign against illegal quarrying when the workers were apprehended, Mercado said.

In yesterday’s issue of The STAR, lawyer Winsor Calamba, who represents the complainants, said he filed the charges against Mercado and six others with the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Maasin last Oct. 16.

CHARGES GRAVEL MAASIN MERCADO MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU PROVINCIAL PROVINCIAL PROSECUTOR ROGER MERCADO SOUTHERN LEYTE WINSOR CALAMBA WORKERS
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