Castro drops court detail, to focus on seven cops
CEBU City Asst. Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro now has more time to deal with seven police officers whom she accused of doing her wrong.
A week after figuring in a vicious confrontation with some policemen, Castro was ordered to stop representing the government in one trial court in Cebu City.
“In the exigency of public service, you are hereby ordered relieved from your court assignment as resident trial prosecutor of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15 in Cebu City effective immediately,” said the memorandum issued by Cebu City Prosecutor Liceria Lofranco-Rabillas dated March 11, 2016.
The memorandum was received by the RTC branch 15 last Monday.
Castro, however, would still continue to handle and resolve cases filed before the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office.
She will also continue to appear in court for Talisay City cases that are pending before RTC 23 in Cebu City.
“This order is actually not a sanction,” Rabillas said.
The chief Cebu City prosecutor told Cebu Daily News that both Castro and the Police Regional Office (PRO 7) requested for the issuance of the order.
“Fiscal Castro asked for it because according to her, she wants to focus on other matters particularly the cases she filed against the policemen. It was actually a mutual feeling,” Rabillas said.
Rabillas said she believes the order was the “best thing to do for the moment.”
“For the good of the office and for the cases she’s handling in court, it’s better for her (Castro) to lie low for now,” she said.
Rabillas, who assumed her post as chief prosecutor of Cebu City last month, said her order won’t affect the cases pending before RTC Branch 15 where Castro served as resident prosecutor.
Asst. Cebu City Prosecutor Benison Harayo will replace Castro in RTC Branch 15.
“We have 36 prosecutors in Cebu City including myself. I don’t think her (Castro) relief from her court assignment will affect us,” Rabillas said.
Asked how long will her order stay, Rabillas said “indefinitely.”
Castro, in a text message, said she personally talked to Rabillas last Thursday to request that she be relieved from her court duties.
“That is actually an internal office agreement. Many of us asked for relief with different reasons. On my part, I think handling cases in just one court (RTC 23) is enough for now so I can attend to the cases I filed against the police,” she said.
Last March 31, Castro and her six companions were arrested inside the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOG) office at Camp Sergio Osmeña in Cebu City for allegedly attacking her husband’s live-in partner whom she had sued for four counts of libel.
The 46-year-old prosecutor allegedly went berserk, harassed the policemen, bit one of them, and ordered his companions to forcibly open the door of the room where Gregory was held under custody.
Castro and her companions were charged with direct assault and malicious mischief before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities.
They immediately posted bail to secure temporary liberty pending resolution of the charges.
Last Monday, the feisty prosecutor requested the Office of the Ombudsman and Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, acting regional director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, to investigate and suspend the seven policemen who arrested her and her six companions.
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