Woman leader, husband arrested in Manila

Arrested Gabriela leader Cora Agovida nurses her youngest child during the inquest proceedings at the Manila Prosecutor’s Office, Nov. 1. The child, separated from her mother, had difficulty sleeping last night. (Photo by Kathy Yamzon)

Updated Nov. 1, 1:52 p.m.

MANILA — A leader of women’s group Gabriela and her husband were arrested by elements of the Manila Police District and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group early this morning, Oct. 31.

According to a statement released by Gabriela, at around 5:00 a.m. today, ten policemen forcibly entered the house of Cora Agovida, spokesperson of Gabriela-Metro Manila and her husband Michael Tan Bartolome in Manila. The couple was instructed to drop to the floor while their two children, aged two and ten years old, and their companion were asked to go outside. A few minutes later, police claimed they recovered a.45 caliber pistol and two grenades from the residence of the couple.

The couple has been brought to the Manila Police District and charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The search warrant against the couple was issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89, the same court that issued the search warrant for the simultaneous raids of offices of people’s organizations in Bacolod City, Oct. 31.

Their children had been under the custody of the Manila Rehabilitation Action Center last night. The couple has requested the Children’s Rehabilitation Center to look after their children. As of press time, the transfer of custody is being processed.

Gabriela condemned the arrest and called for the immediate release of Agovida and Bartolome.

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