BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The vice mayor of a Negros Occidental town and her husband, who were arrested in a police checkpoint in December 2017 for alleged possession of firearms, grenades and illegal drugs, turned themselves in to authorities here on Tuesday, September 11 after nearly a month of being fugitives.
Moises Padilla Vice Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo and her husband, Felix Mathias Yulo III, were subjects of two arrest warrants issued on August 20 by La Carlota City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 63 Judge Cyclamen Jison-Fernandez after they were charged for illegal possession of explosives, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
No bail was recommended for the charge of illegal possession of explosives, while a bail of P200,000 each was set for the other case.
The police dropped the illegal drugs charges after it found out that what was recovered from the couple's vehicle at the checkpoint were bogus.
After they were arrested at a checkpoint in December 19, 2017, the Yulo couple were released three weeks later due to insufficient evidence.
They surrendered Tuesday to Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, director of Police Regional Office-6 (PRO-6) in Western Visayas, at the Bacolod City Police Office headquarters here.
They stressed they had no intention of running away even if their surrender came weeks after the arrest order was released. They said they only feared for their lives.
The vice mayor said they will face the case because “this is just a political harassment,” as she insisted the evidence found on their vehicle was “planted.”
For his part, Bulalacao said the Yulo couple was presumed innocent until proven guilty by the court of law.
“We take their act of voluntarily surrendering as a manifestation of respect for the rule of law and the justice system. We appreciate this humble act as this will dispense the police of the necessary resources needed to serve the warrants of arrest as the police are mandated to enforce the law and implement orders of the court,” he added.
He also assured them that “their rights will be upheld and they will be accorded with due process of law.”
The couple was then brought to the La Carlota RTC. – Rappler.com