By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – The Marikina Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the charges against the 10 relief volunteers who were arrested on May 1 last year.
Collectively called as Marikina 10, the relief volunteers were accosted by the police while conducting a feeding program at Barangay Industrial Valley Complex, Marikina City. They were detained but were eventually released for further investigation.
In a resolution dated Oct. 20, 2020 but was released to the public Feb. 17, the complaints for violation of Batas Pambansa 880 or the Public Assembly Act for holding public assembly with the proper permit, Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code or disobedience to authorities, and violation of Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act were dismissed “for lack of probable cause and insufficiency of evidence.”
The resolution was signed by Assistant City Prosecutor David Gadit Jr.
Gabriela Women’s Party welcomed the dismissal of the case, saying “this a victory for the Marikina 10 and for those who asserted that relief work during the militarist lockdown is not a crime.”
“This positive development is proof the relief volunteers, comprised of teachers and jeepney drivers, are innocent and that the Philippine National Police has indeed abused their authority to illegally arrest and detain them. This is a slap on ‘mananita king’ and PNP chief Debold Sinas’ face, who previously insisted that charges should be pursued against Marikina 10,” Gabriela Women’s Pary said in a statement.