10 persons arrested in Marikina last year cleared of charges

Published February 17, 2021, 5:25 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Ten persons who were arrested in Marikina City on Labor Day last year have been cleared of quarantine violations and illegal assembly by government prosecutors.

In a resolution, Marikina Assistant City Prosecutor David Cadit Jr. dismissed the complaint filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) “for lack of probable cause and for insufficiency of evidence.”

 Cleared were volunteers of the Bayanihan Kusina, jeepney drivers, pre-school teachers and staff of Lingap Gabriela.

 They were identified in the resolution as Roy Lamaclamac, Andy Lamaclamac, Louie Lamaclamac, Roque Lamaclamac, Danilo Ponce, Mohammad Faisal, Boyette Arriaga, Ronel Artisuela, Relita Tamayo and Joan Bernadette Paz-Bonganay.

 The PNP complaint accused them of violating Republic Act No. 11332 on the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act; illegal assembly under Batas Pambansa Blg. 880 or the Public Assembly Act of 1985; and disobedience to an agent of a person in authority under Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

 Those accused were arrested on May 1, 2020  while conducting relief operations in Marikina City.  

 In the resolution, Cadit said “there is lack of probable cause to charge respondents for violation of RA 11332.”

 He said the law does not allow unauthorized disclosure of private and confidential information pertaining to patient’s medical condition or treatment; tampering of records or intentionally providing misinformation; and non-operation of the disease surveillance and response system, among other restrictions.

As for violation of BP 880, the prosecutor pointed out that “it appears that all the respondents were only participants in the public gathering.”

Thus, he said, “they cannot, as such, be held liable.”

 Also, the prosecutor said there was also lack of probable cause to indict respondents for disobedience to an agent of a person in authority “considering that not all the elements of the said crime are present.”