QC court finds the arrest of NDFP consultant as illegal, junks charges

Published January 15, 2019, 7:47 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Chito Chavez

A Quezon City court has junked the charges hurled against National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Rafael Baylosis for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

In a decision on Tuesday, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 100 granted the demurrer to evidence filed by Baylosis and his co-accused, Roque Guillermo.

A demurrer to evidence is a plea filed by the defendant that chides the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence.

Baylosis was ordered released from detention unless he is jailed for another cause while Guillermo’s cash bond of P120,000 was also ordered released.

He is the first NDFP consultant arrested after President Rodrigo Duterte officially tagged communist rebels as terrorists.

Judge Editha Miña-Aguba found that the arrest of Baylosis and his companion was illegal.

“The arrest of accused being illegal, the subsequent search on the persons of accused and the purported confiscated items cannot be used as evidence against them,” the decision stated.

The decision read the confiscation of the items was also considered illegal, as it was “not a product of a search incidental to a lawful arrest, or a stop and frisk search, or the plain view doctrine.”

Aguba noted the testimonies of the arresting officers, who served as prosecution witnesses, were inconsistent.

Because of the “unreliable” testimonies, the decision noted it cannot presume regularity of performance of duty on the actions of the police officers.

Aguba also ordered the firearms, ammunition, and explosive allegedly confiscated from Baylosis and Guillermo be turned over to the government.

On February last year, police and military operatives nabbed Baylosis and Guillermo at the corner of Katipunan Avenue and Aurora Blvd. in Quezon City.