“True enough, the dismissal of the case is a step forward, but there is much to be done that necessitates our collective action and continuing calls for accountability and justice.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – A local court in Tagum, Davao del Norte dismissed the murder charges against against six activists due to lack of probable cause.
In a decision dated July 12, Presiding Judge Sharon Saracin of Tagum Regional Trial Court Branch 30 junked the murder charges against Lutgardo Jurcales Jr. of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Windel Bolinget of Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), Agnes Mesina of Makabayan Cagayan Valley, Jackie Valencia of Karapatan, Reynaldo Garneng of Danggayan to Mannalon ti Cagayan Valley and Albert Mandin.
Saracin granted the motion for the dismissal of the charges following the reinvestigation report by Prosecution Attorney James Noel V. Morente saying that it is highly unlikely that the accused can participate in the alleged killing of Garito Tiklonay Malibato in Kapalong, Davao del Norte on March 22, 2018.
In separate affidavits, the six activists denied their involvement in the killing of Malibato. They also asserted that the case was filed to silence critics, noting that the local police filed the charges two years after the incident.
Meanwhile, the case was archived pending the arrest of five other accused.
In a statement, the Cordillera People’s Alliance, which Bolinget chairs, lauded the decision of the Tagum court.
“True enough, the dismissal of the case is a step forward, but there is much to be done that necessitates our collective action and continuing calls for accountability and justice,” the group said. (RVO)