JEN Awingan, arrested Cordillera activist, has been released on bail following her arrest on charges of rebellion in an Abra court back on January 30 of this year.
Awingan is part of the “Northern Luzon 7,” a group of arrested activists based in the Cordillera and Ilocos regions, with five of the members being part of the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA), a civil society group in the Cordillera, and two of the members hailing from the Ilocos region.
The warrant of arrest was issued by Abra Judge Corpus Alzate, accusing the activists of masterminding an incident on October 27, 2022, in Brgy. Gacab, Malibcong, Abra where four army soldiers were attacked by alleged members of the New People’s Army.
The arrest order issued by Judge Corpus Alzate of RTC Branch 2 in Bangued on Jan. 24, also included Windel Bolinget and Steve Tauli, CPA chair and regional council member, respectively; development worker Sarah Abellon; peasant activist Lourdes Gimenez; Florence Kang of the Ilocos Center for Research, Empowerment, and Development; Niño Oconer, a correspondent for the online news portal Northern Dispatch; and two other individuals identified as Jovensio Tangbawan and Salcedo Dumayom Dappay Jr.
While the police claim the rebellion charges, the activists have remained unaware of who filed charges against them, according to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), a progressive group.
While no bail was recommended, as rebellion is ordinarily a non-bailable offense, Awingan was released after the Abra court granted the petition for bail.
Supporters and the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance also filed a motion to quash the warrants of arrest against the activists as well as a motion to delist the seven activists from the case information. The Abra court prosecution has yet to respond to the other motions after granting the petition for bail.