Chan raises concern on grant of plea deal to drug suspects

By: Futch Anthony Inso - CDN Digital Correspondent | February 06,2024 - 06:19 PM

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Ahong Chan says the city will hold two activities to celebrate National Children's Month. | Futch Anthony Inso

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Ahong Chan. | CDN Digital file photo

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan has urged judges and prosecutors to be more circumspect when accepting pre-bargaining applications, especially those that come from drug offenders.

Chan said he is worried that these individuals would go back to their old ways of selling illegal drugs and commit other crimes after they are released from detention.

“Siguro higpitan lang usa,” he said.

The police in Lapu-Lapu City earlier said that the killer of Market Assistant Christopher Ceniza and the driver of his get-away vehicle were ex-convicts who were earlier jailed for drug-related offenses.  They were released from detention after they entered a guilty plea in exchange for a lesser offense.

Shortly after their release from jail, they killed Ceniza last January 2, 2024.

Chan said that something should be done to prevent a similar incident from happening in their city again.

On Monday, Chan met with Lapu-Lapu City judges and prosecutors to discuss his concerns. He also asked them how the city government can help in addressing that concerns that he raised.

Plea bargaining is a process where the accused and the prosecution negotiate for a lesser penalty or a lesser offense in exchange for a guilty plea, subject to the approval of the court.

Chan said that last year, around 1,000 city jail inmates were freed after they availed of plea bargaining.

He said that another 1, 000 applications remains pending to date.

“So, mao nang atong ipaabot ngadto sa mga judges, fiscals, how we can help. Magtinabangay ta kay kita may nakakita sa situation sa syudad, nga dili mosaka ang krimen, dili mosaka ang pagbaligya og ginadiling drogas,” he added.


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TAGS: Ahong Chan, Lapu-Lapu City, plea bargain

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