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CSur top official hurls criminal case at Caramoan village chief

CARAMOAN, Camarines Sur—Punong Barangay Mercy Sueno has posted P12,000 for her temporary liberty in a case filed against her for alleged violation of Republic Act 7076, otherwise known as the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991.

LEFT: Punong Barangay Mercy Sueno of Barangay Gata, RIGHT: Lahuy Island, Caramoan
Photos by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard, Caramoan Islands
Sueno is the punong barangay of Gata, this town, where four gold panners were brutally murdered on March 22, 2014 in what is now known as the Caramoan massacre.

She had since been leading the fight for justice for the deaths of the victims Julio Labiano, Rene Labiano, Salem Virtus, and Jesse Brondia, who were shot to death as they were eating dinner.

In an exclusive interview with BICOL STANDARD, Sueno said the case was filed by Fermin Mabolo, the Provincial Administrator of Camarines Sur and head of Sagip Kalikasan Task Force.

Also named in the charge sheet was Barangay Kagawad Maximino Bries.

The arrest warrant was issued by Judge Ricky Begino of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of San Jose when Judge Jorge John Aganan, of MTC Caramoan inhibited himself from trying the case.

Sueno said she believes that the accusation hurled against her is but a retaliatory act against her by top officials of the provincial government who were earlier implicated in the Caramoan massacre.

It would be recalled that in August 2015, the Special Panel of Prosecutors of the Department of Justice recommended for the indictment of 21 suspects, who were all identified with the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur.
Sueno also told BICOL STANDARD that a separate complaint was filed against her for violation of Republic Act 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. The same, however, was dismissed by the Prosecutor’s Office.
“Herak man samong mga pobre. Pobre na ngani, iyo pang naaapi,” she said.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM With report from Oscar Esmenda

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