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Lawyers plead with court for reduced bail for three detained activists in the Philippines

ANN/INQUIRER – Lawyers of activists Reina Mae Nasino and two others yesterday asked the Manila Regional Trial Court to reduce the bail, saying that the over PHP400,000 bail set for each accused is “enormous” rendering their quest for temporary freedom “practically nugatory”.

Nasino and Alma Moran have been required to pay PHP420,000 each, while Ram Carlo Bautista PHP570,000.

In a recent motion filed by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), the camp of the activists asked that the bail for Nasino and Moran be reduced from PHP420,000 to PHP210,000, while PHP285,000 for Bautista.

“As full-time human rights workers, they only earned what was necessary for their daily sustenance. They have no other sources of income and have relied (on) support from their families, fellow activists, and concerned citizens. They also come from low-income, working-class families,” read the motion.

The motion dispelled the possibility that the three would escape citing their strong ties to the community and that they have no criminal history and other pending cases.

“More importantly, it bears emphasising that the weight of the evidence against the accused has, at this point, been established and confirmed by this Honorable Court as weak, while the Court of Appeals has already ruled to exclude the evidence allegedly seized from the accused during their arrest for being fruits of the poisonous tree,” read the motion.

Nasino, Moran, and Bautista were arrested in Manila in 2019. They were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Nasino gave birth while in detention. She was separated from Baby River.

After their separation, Baby River was hospitalised and eventually passed away. She was allowed to visit her daughter. She attended the burial in handcuffs.

Lawyers of Reina Mae Nasino and two others ask Manila court to reduce bail by half. PHOTO: INQUIRER

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