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48 curfew violators in Manila freed

Forty-eight curfew violators in Manila, including an elderly street dweller, were released after days of being detained in police stations due to absence of court personnel to process their inquest.

Manila chief prosecutor Joselito Obejas told reporters in a message that the detainees were released on Friday.

The cases of the detainees were either dismissed or referred for further investigation.

Obejas said court personnel were absent on Wednesday, March 18, due to the ban on mass transportation and the government’s order to adopt work from home arrangements.

Some staff members were asked to report for work on Friday, he added.

“The problem was that the docket staff and stenographers were not able to go to work on Wednesday due to lack of public transportation.

Apart from that, the Office of the Mayor declared a work from home policy, that’s why city government personnel were not required to report for work in the city hall,” he said in a text message.

“I just called for the indispensably needed staff to report to the office (on Friday) to process the cases of the alleged ordinance violators,” he added.

Police Staff Sergeant Samerol Austria of the Malate Police Station also confirmed that a 69-year-old street dweller, who was arrested after she allegedly lashed out at barangay officials, was among those who were freed.

The elderly woman was woken up by the said barangay officials while she was sleeping on a street in Malate, Manila at about 8:35 p.m. on March 17.

However, Samerol said the street dwellers cases for breach of peace, oral defamation, and resistance and disobedience to a person in authority were referred for further investigation. (Minka Tiangco)