Cops release Davao-based columnist arrested for mistaken identity

According to news report, the CIDG said that Valle’s arrest was a case of mistaken identity.


Margarita Valle in the custody of the police in Region 10. (Photo courtesy of CNN)

MANILA – Davao-based columnist Margarita Valle, 61, was reportedly released after being arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on June 9, Sunday.

According to news report, the CIDG said that Valle’s arrest was a case of mistaken identity.

Valle was arrested at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental while waiting for her flight back home to Davao. Warrants of arrest were issued on Dec. 2011 by a Misamis Occidental regional trial court for multiple murder with quadruple frustrated murder and damage to government property and in Sept. 2006, issued by a court in Pagadian City for arson.

A witness said Valle has a resemblance to the suspect but is not “the actual suspect who is the subject of the warrant.”

Valle’s son, Rius, Save our Schools Network spokesperson alerted in social media that her mother was arrested and lost contact with her. The CIDG held Valle for almost nine hours, a report said.

Mart Sambalut, National Union of Journalists in the Philippines-Davao City chapter chair condemned Valle’s arrest.

Sambalut said Valle is a reporter since 1980s as one of the pioneers of Media Mindanao News Service during the Marcos regime. Valle later became an administrative officer for MindaNews in 2001 and a writer for Sunstar Davao until 2018.

She is also known for her community development work partnering with different non-government organizations focusing on peace development, environmental protection and community capacity and ability programs. She is also active in advocating for Human Rights in Mindanao.

With Valle’s arrest, Sambalut said, they “Fear of the possibility that journalists working in communities may be a future target of the threat, harassment and killings as Mindanao remains under the power of martial law.”

Meanwhile, Rius thanked those who help them locate her mother and worked for her release.

“My words are not enough to express my utmost gratitude to all. Di ko kayo ma isa-isa dahil halos buong Pilipinas naghahanap sa kanya, (I could not thank each and every one of you as the whole country searched for her.)” he said in a Facebook post.

Rius said they will stay vigilant and vow to hold into account those who are behind the arrest of his mother.

“If they can do this to a journalist, what will prevent them from doing this to ordinary citizens? We will hold them accountable,” he said. (




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