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Gov't prosecutors clear bank employees suspected of rebellion

MANILA, Philippines – Government prosecutors have cleared 5 men who were arrested on suspicion of rebellion in Cagayan de Oro City, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Thursday, June 29.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) arrested the men,  who were found carrying P32.8 million in cash in styrofoam boxes, while aboard a ship bound for Cebu City on Sunday," June 25.

In a 7-page resolution, the Cagayan de Oro Prosecutor's Office dismissed the rebellion complaints against respondents upon verification that they are employees of the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) who were transporting money to another branch of the bank.

The prosecutors added there was not enough evidence to link them to terror groups and the ongoing siege in Marawi City.

UCPB has backed its employees, saying the transfer of the money was sanctioned by its senior executives.

Still, the PCG filed a separate case against 4 out of the 5 men for violation of special banking laws. Cash amounting to millions was found inside styrofoam boxes and declared to ship officials as documents.

UCPB has asked not to publish the names of their employees as they have confidential jobs.

PCG spokesperson Commander Armand Balilo said they respect the prosecutors' findings. On the part of the PCG, he said, authorities were just "being very careful" considering the situtation in Mindanao.

"Of course on the side of the security forces, we are being very careful on the disposition of the money to include possible link with the situation in Mindanao. We have to be vigilant," Balilo said. – Rappler.com