Castro wants RSOG cops cited for contempt
SUSPENDED Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro once again appeared in court yesterday morning for the judicial dispute resolution of the malicious mischief and direct assault cases filed against her by 11 members of the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG).
However, Castro sought to have the rest of the RSOG officers cited for contempt for failing to appear in court after only PO1 Alberto Luardo attended the judicial dispute resolution proceedings.
“There was a manifestation that all of the parties kuno were not in Cebu because they were assigned outside of Cebu,” Castro said.
“However, I was able to get a Special Power of Attorney (signifying) that all of them were present yesterday because the SPA was notarized before a notary public of Cebu City. So meaning to say, all of the prosecution witnesses, the policemen, are now here in Cebu City but they did not appear thereby misleading again the court, which is a contemptuous act,” she added.
Castro’s latest move was in addition to the motion that she filed before the Regional Trial Court Branch 65 in Talisay City seeking to sanction seven of the 11 RSOG officers who snubbed the mediation proceedings for the P11-million damage suit she filed against them last April 5.
Of the 11 RSOG officers who filed the malicious mischief and direct assault cases against Castro and whom Castro sued for damages in return, only four attended the mediation proceedings last Tuesday – P/Insp. Romeo Sentinta Jr., PO2 Esmeraldo Quillosa, PO3 Cesar Pandong and Luardo.
Castro said the seven RSOG officers should be sanctioned for their failure to attend the scheduled mediation and to reimburse her attorney’s fees in the amount of P8,000.
But lawyer Inocencio dela Cerna, who represents the policemen, said the RSOG officers did not make it to the mediation and judicial dispute resolution proceedings since they were transferred to the different parts of the country, such as Cordillera Administrative Region, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Northern Mindanao and Davao.
Dela Cerna said that Castro’s motion in the mediation proceedings is a mere scrap of paper as it was filed prematurely since the seven policemen, namely P/Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, P/Supt. Rex Derilo, PS/Insp. Ruel Burlat, SPO1 Roy Carlo Veloso, PO3 Joseph Bugtai, PO1 Kristine Jean Minion, and PO1 Hyacinth Clavano, failed to attend only one of the three mediation proceedings scheduled by the court.
“Mediations have three settings unya if wa didto, naa man na sunod nga schedule. So as far as that motion is concerned, it is just a mere scrap of paper kay wa pa man ma-completed ang mediation, it is premature,” he said.
Meanwhile, Castro said that she has no plans of settling the damage suit or of reducing the amount of damages that she is asking from the RSOG officers, which is at P1 million each.
To recall, Castro, along with her co-accused identified as William Contamina, Benjielito Lapera, Leo Suaso, Jonas Ninez, Hazel Mabuyo and Gaudiosa Rodrigo allegedly destroyed the door of the room inside the RSOG office where Maricel Raffinan Gregory, rumored live-in partner of Castro’s estranged husband Leodegreco Sanchez, was being held and hurt a couple of RSOG officers last March 7.
After that incident, the 11 RSOG officers filed complaints before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office, which found basis to indict Castro and her companions on two counts of direct assault and one count of malicious mischief. In return, Castro filed a civil suit for damages against the complainants on April 5 for allegedly violating her civil rights when they allegedly manhandled her as she was placed under police custody.
During their arraignment last June 7, Castro and six co-accused entered a plea of not guilty.
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