‘Tatay Loloy’ wants cases dropped

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol April 05,2014 - 06:03 AM

NBI forensic experts led by Dr. Rene Cam (center) examine the skeletal remains of a 14 year old boy that were exhumed from a tunnel beneath the house of cult leader Casiano Apduhan in Balamban, Cebu.

Balamban town’s suspected cult leader Casiano “Tatay Loloy” Apduhan Jr. yesterday sought the dismissal of two of five charges filed against him by the National Bureau of Investgation (NBI).

His lawyer, Danilo Yap, said there was no basis for the charges of serious illegal detention and illegal possession of firearms against his client.

In an interview, Yap said even the 34-year-old woman whom Apduhan and Victor Fajardo, the cult leader’s driver, supposedly detained for more than five years has not issued an affidavit against the men.

“The alleged victim in this case is already 34 years old. She’s an adult and she’s the best person to know whether or not she was illegally detained. I don’t know why they (NBI and Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC) pushed through with the filing of the charges when this case has no leg to stand on,” said the lawyer.

He submitted recent photos of Emma Bocabal “in cheerful pose and jovial smile” while joining Apduhan’s family at a hotel in Toledo City to celebrate the graduation of one of the respondent’s daughters.

In their counter-affidavit, Apduhan said the woman’s family, who , who earlier sought the PWC’s assistance, had no personal knowledge of the alleged crime.

In fact, the woman’s mother stated under oath that her daughter had asked permission to leave their house on Nov. 27, 2008 to find a job.

In the mother’s affidavit, she said she last saw Emma, the fifth of eight children, at a street intersection where Apduhan fetched her in a tricycle.

“At the time the daughter left the parents’ house, no trace of force, violence, or abduction was committed by any person,” Ysaid the lawyer.

He said the allegations leveled against Apduhan were “unfounded and grossly unfair”, and caused him much anguish.

“The allegations had immensely ruined Apduhan’s person, name, and reputation as well as that of his children and family throughout the incessant barrage of negative publicity insinuated to put him in bad light,” the lawyer said.

PWC consultant Heddah Largo earlier said that the woman has not issued an affidavit yet since she is still undergoing psycho-social intervention.

But according to Yap, the Civil Code of the Philippines states that “every person is presumed to be of sound mind.”

On the charge for illegal possession of firearms, Yap said it should be dismissed since the two .38 caliber revolvers, which the NBI purportedly found at the house of Apduhan, were not among the items stated in the search warrant. Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Jay Paradiang has a week to decide on the case.

Apduhan and Fajardo who were arrested by NBI agents during a raid of the leader’s house last March 26 in barangay Buano, Balamban.

Apduhan, who claimed to heal sick people and bring the dead back to life, had followers who manually a dug a 50-foot-deep tunnel under his house.

The remains of a 14-year-old boy were found there by NBI agents, who filed separate charges of murder, child abuse, and human trafficking.

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