‘Bakwit School 7’ individuals released from detention
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Nearly three months after they were detained, the seven individuals, who make up the so-called “Bakwit School 7”, were released at past 6 p.m. today, May 14.
Chad Booc, Segundos Lagatos Melong, Benito Dal-im Bay-ao, Moddie Langayed Mansimoy-at, Esmelito Paumba Oribawan, Jomar Benag, and Rochelle Porcadilla were released after the court dismissed the charges against them and ordered for their immediate release from detention, said Lawyer King Perez, National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) spokesperson, during a press briefing at past 7 p.m.
The seven were detained after they were arrested after an inter-agency “rescue operation” conducted last Feb. 15 in one of the retreat houses inside a university in Barangay Talamban, Cebu City.
Charges were filed against them, and these included violations of the Child Abuse Law, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
The cases filed against them, however, were dismissed by the Provincial Prosecutor Norman Solis of the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Davao Del Norte last May 5.
The Provincial Prosecutor also ordered for their immediate release.
“The Police Regional Office VI or whoever Officer of the Law that has the custody of the said respondents is ORDERED to immediately release them as far as these cases are concerned,” a portion of resolution dismissing the cases against the “Bakwit School 7” read.
Meanwhile, Perez said that they received the resolution and order to release last May 11.
The PRO-7, for its part, said that they received the order just today, and that it took time for them to release because they had to verify if the order was indeed received by them.
Police Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo, PRO-7 said during their interview with the media around 10 a.m. today, that they had not received yet the copy of the resolution.
“So far, sa pakakaron wa pa namo nadawat ang order from the court,” he said.
(So far, at this time, we had not yet received the order of the court.)
He said that they would verify and check on the decision of the court and whatever that would be they would follow the law.
“We are always following the rules of law,” Montejo said.
Perez and the NUPL lawyers processed Booc and five others release papers at the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas office where the six were detained while a representative of the Save Our Schools Network processed the release papers of Porcadilla, who was detained at the Cebu City Police Office detention cell.
Perez said that Booc was released at past noon today, the five others were released at past 4 p.m. and the last one 2 hours later.
So at past 6 p.m. today, the seven detained “Bakwit School 7” were finally released from detention.
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