Detained in a navy base in Tawi-Tawi, the charges filed against them are bailable
TAWI-TAWI, Philippines (Updated) – Tawi-Tawi provincial police director Joselito Salido said on Monday, March 18, that 38 suspected members of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III’s Royal Security Force who are detained here may be released soon.
The 3 cases against them are apparently bailable — illegal possession of firearms, inciting to war, and violation of the election gun ban.
“Kapag lumabas na po ang court decision, may bail bond, they have to be released on bail,” Salido told reporters.
Sulu Sultanate spokesman Abraham Idjirani on Friday, March 15, confirmed that 22 of the 38 arrested in Tawi-Tawi belong to their Royal Security Force. (Read: DOJ to file charges vs 38 Kiram followers)
Chief Public Attorney Percida Acosta arrived here on Monday to provide them legal assistance. After talking to the detainees, Acosta sought for a reduction of their bail. She’s asking the local court for P3,000 per detainee.
“It’s a matter of right to post bail,” Acosta said.
The 38 were intercepted — in two batches — by the Philippine Navy. The first batch of 35 were intercepted by the Philippine Navy on their way back from Sabah. The other 3 were intercepted by the Philippine Coast Guard in Sibutu.
They have since been detained at the Philippine Navy Naval Base Task Force 62 in Barangay Batu-Batu Panglima Sugala, a town about 45 minutes away from Bongao.
Acosta said they will also file a motion for preliminary investigation so their cases will go back to the Department of Justice.
A certain Princess Carolyn Kiram – said to be another daughter of Sultan Kiram – wrote Acosta’s office to seek her assistance.
Acosta also wrote the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Justice to inquire check on the situation of Kiram’s followers detained in Malaysia. Acosta said they also want to help them. Malaysia has so far refused to grant Philippine officials access to Filipino prisoners in Sabah.
Acosta said her office will also assist evacuees who were supposedly maltreated in Malaysia. – Rappler.com