Court dismisses terror charges vs 2 Aetas

July 19, 2021 Hector Lawas 303 views

THE Olongapo City regional trial court has dismissed for insufficiency of evidence the terrorism charges filed against 2 Aetas who were arrested while descending from a mountain in Zambales on accusations linking them to the communist movement.

This was after Judge Melani Fay Tadili granted the demurrer to evidence of Japer Gurong and Junior Ramos.

“After a careful examination of the records, the Court holds that the prosecution failed to discharge the burden of proving the identifies of the accused as the perpetrators of the crime of violation of Section 4 of RA 11479. Thus, the case for violation of this law against the accused must be dismissed,” the court order reads in part.

Gurung and Ramos were the first persons charged for violating Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

They were nabbed on accusations linking them to communist New People’s Army. They were arrested while descending from a mountain in Sitio Lumibao, Barangay Buhawen, San Marcelino, Zambales where an encounter between the military and rebels had just transpired.

Gurong and Ramos last February 2 asked the Supreme Court to declare the hugely-controversial legislation unconstitutional via a petition-in-intervention. They, however, withdrew it.

President Duterte signed a stricter anti-terrorism bill, condemned by critics and rights groups as a weapon to target opponents and stifle free speech.

Duterte has defended the law, saying law-abiding citizens should not fear as it targets terrorists including communist insurgents. With Jun Legaspi

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