CamSur prosecutor dismisses murder charges vs 2 activists
By Mavic Conde
Two activists from Camarines Sur have been cleared of murder charges filed by the police and the military for lack of probable cause.
“The complainant and their witnesses failed to show pieces of evidence against the respondents to warrant probable cause for their indictment,” according to the resolution dated Feb 26, 2021 from the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Camarines Sur.
Prosecutor Sean Paulo M. Dumalasa also noted that the identification of the respondents – Jenelyn Nagrampa-Caballero and Pastor Dan San Andres – “are tainted with doubt and irregularity.” Caballero is Gabriela’s national vice chairperson, and San Andres is the head of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and Karapatan-Bicol’s spokesperson, who were arrested on July 7 and 9, 2020 respectively, according to alternative news media bulatlat.com.
According to Bulatlat, “The military and police filed the murder charges against the two after an alleged ambush by the New People’s Army resulted in the killing of two soldiers in Ragay, Camarines Sur on May 13, 2018,” adding “The witnesses alleged that during the firefight, they saw Caballero and San Andres and further confirmed their identification from the rogue gallery of the military intelligence group.”
However according to the news report, Caballero was not only “preparing for the barangay elections on the following day [but] was also nine months pregnant” at the time. She gave birth on May 19, 2018. Likewise, San Andres narrated in his counter-affidavit that he “presided over the Divine Worship Service, even providing photographs taken during the activity.”
Moreover Bulatlat reported that in Dumalasa’s resolution, “the affidavits of respondents San Andres, Caballero and their witnesses including pieces of evidence, coupled with circumspect review of the affidavit of complaining witnesses and their witness” solidified the decision to dismiss the case.