Iloilo court junks simple disobedience case vs 'Iloilo 42'

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 19 2022 08:27 PM

MANILA — A court has junked the simple disobedience case against lawyers, activists, and community press, collectively called "Iloilo 42", who were arrested while holding a Labor Day protest in Iloilo in 2020. 

In his decision on Oct. 14, Judge Radney Reginaldo Garcia of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 7 in Iloilo City said the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

The court said "Iloilo 42" could not be convicted for allegedly violating executive orders on social distancing because they were charged with a different crime: simple disobedience under Art. 151 of Revised Penal Code. 

Executive orders do not impose jail time, it added.

The court reviewed the video of the arrest of "Iloilo 42," which it said showed they did not resist arrest. 

According to the court, asking for the basis of the arrest cannot be considered resistance or disobedience to authorities.

Atty. AK Guillen and members of the media arrested were not there to join the protest, the court said.