4 leftist leaders later freed after verification
FOUR progressive leaders were stopped by authorities at the Task Force Davao checkpoint in Barangay Lasang, Bunawan District starting around 6:40 p.m. last Wednesday.

According to a text message forwarded to the media, Hanimay Suazo, secretary general of Karapatan-Southern Mindanao, said they were held by the Task Force Davao personnel who told them that the order came from their superiors.

Apart from Suazo, also detained were Carmelito Lao Sr., Pedro Arnado and Jerry Alborme of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-SMR.

The Task Force Davao personnel manning the Lasang checkpoint immediately called Bunawan Police Precinct to conduct further verification of the identities of the individuals.

Maj . Mario Tena, the spokesperson of Task Force Davao, said the three were immediately released after further verification except Lao was brought to Bunawan Police Station for further legal procedure.

It was found out that Lao had a standing warrant of arrest for qualified theft with Criminal Case No. 1395-12 at Branch 32 of the 11th judicial region in Lupon, Davao Oriental. He was released around 11:30 p.m. after presenting a court order that said his case was already dismissed.

According to the report, they received information about four “suspicious” people on board a gold Isuzu Trooper with plate no. MGL 495 as they were about to enter the city.

“The three did not leave even after they were released because they accompanied Lao,” Tena said.

In a statement, the TF Davao is continuously intensifying its security measures to ensure that no criminals and terrorists can enter the city. The public is also urged to cooperate with security forces, particularly those manning the checkpoints.

“Rest assured that rights are being respected and all actions being undertaken are in accordance with the rule of law,” he said.