MANILA (UPDATE)—The group of former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and ACT Party-list Rep. France Castro were ordered released from police detention Saturday night after posting an P80,000 bail bond, human rights group Karapatan said Saturday.
But police are defying the order of Tagum Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Arlene Palabrica, the group said.
In a statement, Karapatan said Palabrica issued a supplemental order categorically ordering the release of Ocampo's group.
"But the Philippine National Police was reportedly poised to defy this order, with many fully armed police surrounding the court house earlier, to take custody of Ka Satur, Rep. Castro, the four pastors of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines, and the 12 volunteer teachers of Lumad schools," it said.
"As of this writing, Ka Satur and company have been RELEASED and have left the Tagum City Hall of Justice, though police vehicles are still following them."
Ocampo confirmed that they received the same information.
" 'Yung bali-balita or 'yung information na nakuha namin na ide-defy ng police authorities o ng military 'yung court order ng aming release kung i-intercept pa kami. Kaya wala pang katiyakan 'yan," he told radio DZMM.
Ocampo, meanwhile, thanked Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. for vouching for him.
Both were members of the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2010.
"He knows exactly what I stand [for] and he’s aware of all the trumped-up charges that has been filed at me since the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo," he said.
Atty. Joel Mahinay of the National Union of People's Lawyers said the bail was posted at about 1 p.m. Saturday.
" 'Yung complaint ng mga pulis nand'yan pa. For the meantime na may preliminary investigation, nag-post kami ng bail upon the recommendation of the prosecution office. Public prosecutor mismo ang nag-recommend na bailable ang sitwasyon nila Ka Satur," he said.
Ocampo, Castro and 16 others were arrested on Wednesday night in Talaingod town for allegedly kidnapping and trafficking Lumad children.
The group said it was delivering school supplies to indigenous communities, but police officials said the arrest "stemmed from complaints of parents and tribal leaders" in the province, said Chief Supt. Benigno Durana, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson.—With reports from Jeffrey Hernaez, ABS-CBN News