15 accused in illegal takeover of Ilocos resort surrender
Eva Visperas, Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2020 - 12:00am

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Fifteen people accused of illegally taking over a government property in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur surrendered to authorities over the weekend.

The 15, who were charged along with former Cabugao Mayor Josh Edward Cobangbang, surrendered to the Ilocos regional police based in San Fernando, La Union.

The accused were charged with serious illegal detention and grave coercion in 2017, according to Ilocos regional police director Brig. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr.

Mayor Eduardo Cobangbang helped arrange the surrender, although his former mayor-son was not among those who surrendered.

Azurin said the younger Cobangbang went into hiding before the May 2019 elections and might surrender in the coming days.

The accused decided to give themselves up after authorities launched a manhunt in compliance with an arrest warrant issued against them in October 2019.

The Department of Justice said the respondents, on orders of the former mayor, detained the operator and several employees of the Cabugao Resort.

Complainant and resort operator Virginia Nicole Savellano-Ong said that she, her four-year-old daughter and several resort employees were detained in the property that was ordered padlocked by the municipal government.

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