Court agrees to defer Castro’s arraignment

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Izobelle T. Pulgo April 13,2016 - 10:52 PM
Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro (center) and her lawyer Vismin Santiago leave the courtroom of MTCC Branch 7 Judge Francisco A. Seville, Jr. after the latter granted her motion to defer her arraignment for charges of  direct assault and malicious mischief filed by the operatives of RSOG. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro (center) and her lawyer Vismin Santiago leave the courtroom of MTCC Branch 7 Judge Francisco A. Seville, Jr. after the latter granted her motion to defer her arraignment for charges of direct assault and malicious mischief filed by the operatives of RSOG. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

MUNICIPAL Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 7 Presiding Judge Francisco Seville yesterday granted Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann  Castro’s request to reset her arraignment as she intends to file a motion to dismiss the charges of direct assault and malicious mischief filed against her and her companions.

Castro was given five days to submit her written pleading to the court.

“We will prove that the unlawful aggressors were the policemen, not us,” she told reporters after the court proceedings.

“We will expose in court that baluktot (crooked) system they used against us,” she added.

Lawyer Inocencio de la Cerna Jr., counsel for the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOG), downplayed Castro’s claims, saying, “We have enough evidence (to prove her guilt).”

De la Cerna described Castro’s move as a mere “dilatory tactic.”

Last March 7, Castro and her six companions were arrested inside the RSOG office at Camp Sergio Osmeña in Cebu City for allegedly attacking her husband’s live-in partner, Maricel Gregory, whom she sued for four counts of libel.

Gregory voluntarily surrendered to an RSOG policemen after the warrant of arrest was issued.

She and six alleged cohorts—William Contamina, Leo Suaso, Jonas Niñez, Benjielito Lapera, Gaudiosa Rodrigo, and Hazel Mabuyo—are out on bail.

Meanwhile, Castro said she intends to file a libel suit against Cebu Provincial Board Member Grecilda Sanchez-Zaballero for making public a declaration that nullified the Muslim wedding between the prosecutor and Zaballero’s brother Leodegreco.

Castro said she has an original copy of their marriage contract which is enough proof of the validity of their marriage.

“Unless and until there is a court order declaring the marriage as null and void, our marriage is presumed valid and subsisting,” she told CDN.

Castro said she will implead CDN in her libel complaint for publicizing Zaballero’s claim.

Zaballero recently gave copies of a declaration by the Imam who officiated the wedding ceremony of Leodegreco and Castro, stating  that their union is null and void since the two failed to show any interest to convert to Islam.

“If she will file a case, then that’s her prerogative,” said Zaballero./with USJ-R Intern Margarette Managaytay

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro, Judge Francisco Seville, Mary Ann Castro, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Regional Special Operations Task Group

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