Dumanjug vice mayor, 2 companions indicted for serious illegal detention

By: Rosalie Abatayo February 02,2020 - 09:27 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Provincial Prosecutor indicted Dumanjug Vice Mayor Erwin “Wado” Gica and companions in a serious illegal detention case filed by the man that Gica has accused of trying to kill him two days prior to the May 13, 2019 midterm elections.

Hector Quirante, a resident from the town’s Barangay Ilaya, filed the complaint against Gica, his elder brother and incumbent town Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica, Darwin Castro, Gino Do and Raymond Lañojan along with charges for violation of the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) gun ban, grave coercion, planting of evidence and serious physical injuries.

In her resolution dated January 6, 2020, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Reina Carmel Rivas recommended the filing of only the serious illegal detention case against Vice Mayor Gica, Do and Castro.

“The complaint for serious physical injuries is deemed absorbed in the crime of serious illegal detention being an element of the same,” Fiscal Rivas wrote.

Rivas, however, dismissed the complaints for gun ban violation, grave coercion, and planting of evidence due to “lack of probable cause.”

Quirante’s claim

Quirante, a campaign staff of then mayoralty candidate Cesar Baricuatro, alleged that on May 11, 2019, the group of then councilor and vice mayoral candidate Gica blocked his way while traversing the barangay road of Kantangkas on board his motorcycle on his way home to Barangay Ilaya.

He accused Gica of beating him and pointing a gun at him before ordering his “bodyguards,” whom he accused of carrying long firearms, to bring him aboard their vehicle and take him to their headquarters at the Gicas’ residence in Barangay Sima.

He said that it was in the vehicle where he allegedly saw Castro and Lañojan. Do allegedly beat him up anew while they were at the  house of the Gicas.

Quirante said the beatings resulted to his injuries, which uprooted his front tooth and cracked another tooth. The cracked tooth had to be extracted.

Quirante added that Mayor Gica was at the campaign headquarters when he was brought in and Gica allegedly told him: “Giingnan tika nga ayaw pag-apil og pulitika. Ah! Ikaw, kay gahi ka og ulo, naa ra na nimo!

(I told you not to get involved in politics. Ah, you are hard-headed, it’s up to you.)

Quirante also said that it was at the headquarters where he was handcuffed, and was allegedly made to hold a gun before he was turned over to the police and booked under a citizen’s arrest.

Gica’s counter-affidavit

But in his counter-affidavit, Vice Mayor Gica said Quirante tried to shoot him after trying to overtake them with his motorcycle while traversing the road of Barangay Kantangkas on his way to Barangay Poblacion.

He said he was with Lañojan, Castro and Do in their vehicle.

Gica said he ordered Castro, who was driving the vehicle, to stop.

The sudden stop, he claimed, surprised Quirante making him fall off his motorcycle and getting injured in the process.

However, Gica admitted that there was a scuffle between his men and Quirante until they “successfully wrestled” a .38  revolver from him and brought him to the police station by “citizen’s arrest.”

He denied that they brought Quirante first to his residence before going to the police station in Barangay Poblacion.

“Taking all the circumstances together, the only logical conclusion is that it is inconceivable for complainant (Quirante) to point a gun to respondent Erwin, although not ruling out the possibility that he had a firearm with him,” Rivas wrote on the grave coercion, serious physical injuries and serious illegal detention portion of the resolution.

No lawful cause

She added that she found no lawful cause for the arrest and detention of Quirante.

However, Rivas said Lañojan could not be presumed to be part of the act just by being inside the same vehicle.

In dismissing Mayor Gica’s involvement in the alleged beating incident,  Rivas said that the mere mention of the mayor’s name while Quirante was at the Gicas’ residence, did not follow that the mayor connived with the others to detain Quirante.

She added that Quirante’s claim that Vice Mayor Gica possessed a gun, which the latter denied, could not be accepted without evidence supporting the allegation.

The planting of evidence allegation, Rivas added, was the same defense that Quirante presented for the violation of Comelec gun ban and violation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act (carrying of unlicensed firearm) that Gica filed against him after the incident in May 2019.

Quirante was indicted for the cases./dbs

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TAGS: Dumanjug, Gica, Hector Quirante, ilaya, Lanojan, Quirante, serious illegal detention, vice mayor

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