Two women were apprehended on Wednesday in Palawan, with one facing charges for violating the Safe Spaces Act in Rizal, and the other held for unlawful possession of a chainsaw in Quezon town.

A report from the Palawan Provincial Police Office (PPO) identified the individuals facing charges as 33-year-old Jessica Alvarez, a resident of Barangay Punta Baja in Rizal town, and 56-year-old Celina Espina from Brgy. Panitian in Quezon.

They were taken into custody on June 21 by the respective municipal police stations of both towns, following the execution of court-issued warrants.

Alvarez was arrested in response to a warrant dated April 24, 2023, issued by Judge Evelyn Cañete, the acting presiding judge of the 6th Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) in Quezon, Palawan.

Alvarez is accused of violating Section 12, Article II of Republic Act No. 11313, also known as the Safe Spaces Act. This law criminalizes acts of gender-based sexual harassment in public spaces, online, and in the workplace. Her case is officially registered under Criminal Case No. 3351R. A bail recommendation of P24,000 has been set for her.

Following her arrest, Alvarez was transferred to the custody of the Rizal Municipal Police Station (MPS) for subsequent proceedings.

The same day saw an operation in Brgy. Alfonso XIII, Quezon, during which Espina was apprehended. Her arrest followed the issuance of a warrant on April 17, 2023, also by Judge Cañete.

Espina is charged with violating Section 7(a) of Republic Act No. 9175, otherwise known as the “Chainsaw Act of 2002”. This law prohibits the possession of a chainsaw without proper authorization, given its potential misuse in illegal logging activities.

Her case has been recorded as Criminal Case No. 3252Q, with the court setting a bail recommendation of P36,000. Espina was handed over to the Quezon Municipal Police Station (MPS) for further processing and actions.