Court resets Nobleza’s arraignment
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol—The Regional Trial Court (RTC) has reset the arraignment of a police officer who had links with the Abu Sayyaf bandit group.
Judge Jorge Cabalit of RTC Branch 48 rescheduled the arraignment of Supt. Maria Cristina Nobleza for the illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges.
No date had been set when Nobleza would enter her plea before the court.
Sarah Soriano-Hermida, one of Nobleza’s lawyers, said the arraignment was postponed since the court had yet to resolve their motion that sought to dismiss the charges against the police officer.
“Our ground is the court doesn’t have jurisdiction over the accused Nobleza because the arrest was made illegally,” said Hermida.
The judge gave the prosecution 10 days to comment on the motion while the defense would be given another 10 days to answer.
Nobleza, who was wearing a hijab, a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women, arrived the sala of Judge Cabalit around 9 a.m.
Considered a “high risk” detainee, she was heavily escorted by policemen that caused a traffic jam on B. Inting Street.
She refused to talk to reporters.
Nobleza left the court at 10:15 a.m. and was brought to Bohol District Jail in Tagbilaran City where she stayed while waiting for her flight back to Manila at 3:50 p.m.
Hermida said Nobleza has been suffering from eye problem-headaches and blurred vision.
“We requested a check-up for her eyes sa Crame but we were told to file a written motion for that request. She is due for a check up since her vision has been blurry,” said Hermida.
Nobleza and her husband, Reenor Lou Dongon, were arrested after they refused to stop at a police check point set up by government troops who were hunting down after members of the Abu Sayyaf group in Clarin town, Bohol last April.
The police later learned that the couple were trying to rescue the bandit group members.
A C-4 explosive, a detonating cord, a blasting cap and a blasting cap kit were found inside Nobleza’s luggage that was left in the apartment rented by the couple in Panglao town.
Last June 6, Nobleza and Dongon pleaded not guilty to the separate case of obstruction of justice under Presidential Decree 1829 pending before Judge Erwin Magallano Ucat at RTC Tubigon.
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