The lawyer of a former mayor and four other town officials yesterday asked judges in Negros Occidental to treat with extreme caution and deny any search warrants filed against his clients.
In his letters to the judges, lawyer Roem Arbolado said his clients are former Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Montilla Peña, Pulupandan Mayor Miguel Peña, Isabela Mayor Enrique Montilla III, Moises Padilla Mayor Ella Garcia Yulo and Valladolid Vice Mayor Enrique Miravelles.
Arbolado said in his letters to the judges that his clients had received information about the application/issuance of a search warrant on their residences in the municipalities of Moises Padilla, Pulupandan, Isabela and Valladolid and Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
“We would like to inform you that as early as in November 2015, we already received reliable information that a search warrant was allegedly applied for by the elements of the PNP against our clients,” he said.
“In fact, we already wrote the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Courts of Manila, informing him of the alleged plan to simultaneously conduct a raid against our clients,” Arbolado said.
With the timely intervention, the purported plan to secure a search warrant did not prosper since its issuance was baseless and unreasonable at the onset, he claimed.
Just recently, however, they received again reports that the same members of the PNP are bound to apply for and/or have filed a petition for the issuance of search warrant against his clients, Arbolado said.
In order to better understand why this PNP/CIDG members are trying to obtain a search warrant against his clients, he cited several incidents that occurred before the 2013 elections.
Sometime in April 2013, he said, PSSupt. Jose Maruo Espino upon instructions of his superior P/Director Francisco Uyami Jr., then Chief of the PNP-CIDG, using false affidavits/reports/evidence, secured a search warrant against Magdaleno Peña from the Court, Arbolado said in his letters to the judges.
On May 2, 2013, several members of the CIDG, RIU of Region VI, SAF, and other members of the PNP carried out a raid on the alleged residence of Peña in Ubay, Pulupandan, Negros Occidental. They also carried out raids on locations not covered by the search warrant such as the subdivision/village entrance .8 kms away and a Police Station as far as 1.8 kms away from the alleged residence of Peña, he added.
The Department of Justice Manila, and the Court subsequently cleared Peña and several others of all charges and ruled that the above-mentioned members of the PNP made false charges and planted evidence (explosives), misrepresented the serial members/make/model of several firearms to make them appear unlicensed and that they should be investigated for said illegal acts, Arbolado said.
As a result the PNP officials responsible were charged before the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman found that the complaint was sufficient in form and substance and ordered the filing of Counter-Affidavits and Position Papers, he added.
Arbolado sent copies of his letters to Regional Trial Court Bacolod Executive Judge Anita Guanzon Chua, RTC La Carlota Executive Judge Cyclamen Jison Fernandez, RTC Bago Executive Judge Frances Guanzon, Judge Noel Daren Damian of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Valladolid, San Enrique, Pulupandan and Valladolid, Judge Elsie Elumba of the MCTC of Isabela and Moises Padilla.*CPG
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