DOJ denies motion to review homicide charge vs Escarlan
THE Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered the dismissal of a petition for review filed by a relative of Santa Fe town Mayor Jose Esgana, who was linked to the killing of a political campaigner outside the mayor’s house just two days before the May 9, 2016 elections.
Pablo Paul Escarlan, identified by a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) eyewitness as the alleged killer of Gilbert de Lima, had earlier asked the DOJ to review the provincial prosecutor’s office decision to file homicide charges against him.
In denying Escarlan’s petition, Justice Undersecretary Raymund Mecate, in a resolution dated May 11, cited a technicality: Escarlan’s failure to submit a compact disc containing a PDF of his petition for review.
Section 2 (a) of Department Circular No. 018 or the Rule of the Electronic Filing of Petitions for Review provides that “all petitions for view filed shall have, in addition to its attachments, a compact disc containing a PDF file of the petition for review and its attachments.”
“A perusal of the petition shows that respondent-appellant (Escarlan) failed to attach thereto a copy of the motion to defer proceedings duly filed in the appropriate court which is violative of Section 5 of the said Department Order,” said the two-page resolution.
A murder complaint was earlier filed by the NBI against Escarlan and the mayor’s son, Joanes Paulo Esgana.
In resolving the case, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Ludivico Cutaran dismissed the case against the mayor’s son and downgraded the complaint against Escarlan from murder to homicide as it found De Lima’s killing to be Escarlan’s “spur-of-the-moment” reaction to a verbal tussle involving the victim and Joanes Paulo.
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