MANILA — The Ozamiz Regional Trial Court denied the urgent motion filed by Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez and her brother, Reynaldo Jr., to attend the wake of their parents and other family members killed during the anti-drug operation of the Philippine National Police last July 30.
In a three-page order, Ozamiz RTC Executive Judge Edmundo P. Pintac denied the Extremely Urgent Motion for Furlough, filed by the siblings that they be allowed specifically to attend the wake and burial of their parents, Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Sr. and mother Susan, uncle Octavio Jr. and aunt Mona on August 13, 2017.
Pintac said that while they commiserate with the siblings and offered their condolences, they also have to consider the safety and security not only of Nova Princes and Reynaldo Jr. but also the police escorts as well.
“The court chooses the path of caution and gives greater weight to the assessment of the police more especially that of the Ozamiz city police,” the court said.
The court took into consideration the information coming from the Ozamiz City Police citing intelligence information about a “daring and bloody rescue of the accused [that] would be carried out once the accused are allowed furlough.”
“Additionally, the Court takes notice that emotions are high between people who are sympathetic to the accused-movants and people who are against them. The Court is overly concerned for good reason that the presence of the accused-movants would provide the spark that would ignite and cause those emotions to erupt and for the opposing sides to turn violent and clash against each other, thereby endangering the security and safety of the accused-movants,” read the order.
The siblings insisted that they still enjoy the presumption of innocence even if a nonbailable offense has been filed against them.
Both accused said they will take all the necessary expenses, including airfare and accommodations, that will be incurred by their police escorts and jail guards while attending the wake and burial.
They both vowed to return to the PNP Custodial Center after the burial.
Echavez was charged for violation of for Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 specifically Section 11 for possession of dangerous drugs and violation of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition under Section 28 of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
Her brother is also facing three counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. He is also facing a separate case for illegal possession of explosives under RA 9516 and possession of dangerous drugs under RA 9165.