June 16, 2019 - Sunday
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Davao City, Philippines

PNP on Valle’s arrest: ‘mistaken identity’

June 09, 2019 - Sunday 9:06 PM by MindaNews

The Philippine National Police spokesperson in a statement Sunday night said the arrest of Fidelina Margarita Avellanosa Valle, a development worker and freelance writer, and columnist of Davao Today, was a case of mistaken identity. Photo from her FB page

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) – ‘Nia ko (I am here at) CIDG Pagadian Lumbia. Pls help.”

This was the message sent by Fidelina Margarita “Gingging” Avellanosa-Valle to a chat group at 6:36 p.m. Sunday, eight hours after she was arrested at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.

She sent no reply when asked for details.

But Colonel Bernard Banac, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police (PNP) sent MindaNews a statement at 8:17 p.m. that Valle was “now for release” as according to the witness, she “has major resemblance but is not the actual suspect who is the subject of the warrant.”

 

Sister Mila Gimeno of the Missionaries of the Assumption in Davao City told MindaNews at 8:45 p.m. that Valle has been ordered released on the grounds of ‘mistaken identity,’ and that she will be fetched by Fr. Rico Sayson, President of the Columban College in Pagadian City, Sister Marites of the Religious of the Good Shepherd, and a lawyer.

Valle, a development worker and freelance writer, and a columnist of Davao Today phoned Sister Mila at 10:07 a.m. on Sunday that she was being arrested.

(READ: Where is Margarita “Gingging” Valle and why was she nabbed at the Laguindingan airport?)

The nun told MindaNews Valle was forcibly arrested, that when Valle called, she heard a commotion in the background, and heard Valle asking the arresting officer why she was being arrested. Valle was told to go with them to the office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Before their telephone conversation was cut, Sister Mila heard Valle say “gibira na ko, gibira na ko” (they’re pulling me, they’re pulling me).

Valle was at the airport for the flight back to Davao City after conducting a training workshop in Pagadian City where she was brought after her arrest.

“Sige’g hilak”

The next time Sister Mila heard from Valle was eight hours later. At 6:27 p.m. Sister Mila phoned MindaNews that she had just received a phone call from Valle but could not understand what she was trying to say because “sigeg hilak, sigeg hilak” (she kept crying).

Sister Mila said the captain whose name she failed to ask, took the phone from the crying Valle and told the nun to be in Pagadian tomorrow because they could not get anything from Valle who apparently had been crying since her arrest.

In the past 8 p.m. phone conversation between Valle and Sister Mila, the nun told MindaNews that Valle’s blood pressure had shot up and she had refused to eat. She said she had to tell Valle to eat so she could drink medicine.

Banac confirmed Valle’s arrest through a report from the field that he forwarded to Manila reporters, on “Oplan Pagtugis and Oplan Salikop.”

Valle, named in the report as suspect “Elsa Renton@ Tina Maglaya / Fidelina Margarita Valle y Avellanosa” was arrested allegedly on the basis of a December 29, 2011 warrant of arrest for alleged “multiple murder with quadruple frustrated murder and damage to government property” issued in Misamis Occidental by Judge Bernadette Paredes-Encinarea “with no bail recommended” and arson issued by Judge ANiceto Galon Jr. in Pagadian City judge on September 4, 2006 with bail recommended at 24,000 pesos.

MindaNews sent Banac a text message at 7:20 p.m. asking for details of these charges – when they happened and where and what Valle’s alleged role was because the report mentioned no details. It also asked who Elsa Renton is and if Valle’s arrest were a case of mistaken identity.

“Major resemblance but is not the actual suspect”

At 8:17 p.m. Banac sent a message saying Valle is “now for release.”

“After the coordination was made at AVSEC (Aviation Security) 10, Laguindingan Airport and Laguindingan MPS (municipal police station), Valle was “brought to CIDG 9 office (in Pagadian City) for verification and identification.”

Laguindingan Airport to Pagadian is about 200 kilometers away.

“However, upon arrival of the witness who physically identified the subject, witness further averred that the suspect has major resemblance but is not the actual suspect who is the subject of the warrant.”

The report did not say if the witness was for the murder or arson case.

“Furthermore, upon the revelation of the witness, suspect identified as Fidelina Margarita Valle y Avellanosa was subjected for release after the conduct of medical examination and proper documentation,” Banac said. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews) 

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