Castro to serve suspension, accept Talisay fiscal post

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol March 22,2016 - 03:34 PM

SAYING she wants to live peacefully, Cebu City Asst. Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro decided to serve the six-month suspension imposed on her by the Supreme Court (SC).

Castro said she personally went to the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week to inform the Justice Secretary about her intent to no longer contest the High Court’s ruling and instead serve the suspension.

She stopped performing her duties and functions as a prosecutor last March 16. “I decided to buy peace at all cost. Out muna ako sa Cebu City. (I’ll be temporarily out of the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office),” said Castro in a text message to Cebu Daily News.

She said she also withdrew the complaint she filed at the Police Regional Office (PRO 7) against the policemen of the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOG) who arrested her and her six companions last March 7.

While serving a suspension for six months, Castro said she will assume her new role as legal officer of Talisay City. She said the job was offered to her by Talisay City Mayor Johnny Delos Reyes.

Both Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane and Cebu City Prosecutor Liceria Lofranco-Rabillas said they have not received any formal communication from the DOJ regarding Castro’s suspension.

“But we have received a letter from her (Castro), expressing her decision to voluntarily serve the suspension.

Hence, if she’s already serving her suspension, she shall temporarily stop from performing her duties and functions as a prosecutor, and all her salaries and allowances shall be withheld,” Rabilles said.

Last year, the High Court affirmed the Ombudsman ruling which found Castro liable for wielding “excessive influence” when she asked the police to help her brother who complained about a defective vehicle bought in 2001.

The SC said the prosecutor was liable for using her office’s influence to use the Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) “for a purely personal matter,” and that the Castro’s acts send a wrong impression that public officials could use and exploit the police force for their personal interests.”

Castro had filed a motion for reconsideration to contest the High Court’s ruling but she recently decided not to wait for the outcome of her pleading.

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