Labor leader sentenced to prison for illegal gun possession

MANILA, Philippines – A local court in San Mateo, Rizal, sentenced a labor organizer to a maximum of 8 years in prison for illegally possessing a gun and bullets.  

Presiding Judge Josephine Fernandez of San Mateo Regional Trial Court Branch 76 rejected the defense of Marklen Maga of the Kilusang Mayo Uno that the .45 caliber pistol with live ammunition that the police supposedly found in his possession were not his. 

Maga was arrested on February 22, 2018, by virtue of the arrest warrant issued by Agusan del Norte Regional Trial Court Branch 34 Judge Cesar Bordalba in Cabadbaran City. He is accused of involvement in the March 2017 murder of a soldier. 

Maga is the son-in-law of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Rafael Baylosis, who is also in jail. 

The San Mateo judge said Maga wasn’t able to present witnesses to support his claim that the gun supposedly found in his bag during the arrest were not his. He had questioned the police’s search of his belongings even before they presented the arrest warrant.  

Still, the judge said, “It was not shown that the police officer were ill-motivated to arrest the accused on trumped-up charges.”  

The court also  said “there is no doubt that the accused is the person being referred to by the alias warrant of arrest,” after Maga claimed that the arrest warrant was not intended for him because it bore the name “Marlen” instead of “Marklen.”

The court said an eyewitness to the crime had identified Maga. –