THE Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division deferred the arraignment of former police and military officials who were accused of violating the rights of eight health workers who were arrested in Morong, Rizal in 2010 for their alleged links to the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The anti-graft court reset the arraignment to July 31 pending resolution of the respondents’ motion to quash the charges against them because they were “fatally defective”.
The eight, who are part of the “Morong 43” based on the area where they were arrested, claimed that the accused denied their right to counsel.
The officials are: Former 2nd Infantry Division (ID) Commander Jorge Segovia and former 202nd Infantry Brigade Commanding Officer Aurelio Baladad, then-2nd ID Chief of Staff Joselito Reyes, then-2nd ID Intelligence Officer Cristobal Zaragoza, then Police Superintendents Marion Balonglong and Allan Nobleza. Then 2nd ID spokeswoman Jovily Cabading filed a motion to quash the case, describing it as “fatally defective.”
On June 14, the same division of the Sandiganbayan denied the motion by these police and military officers to drop charges against them. MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO