May 28, 2011
The Department of Justice’s Regional Prosecution Office (RPO)-10 has thrown out a complaint filed by four former media workers against Camiguin Island Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo.
The complaint, which stemmed from a mauling incident a day before the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections allegedly involving Romualdo and his supporters, was thrown out by the panel of prosecutors tasked to conduct a preliminary investigation on the incident in a resolution dated May 11, 2011.
The four former media workers had filed a complaint June 10, 2010 at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Camiguin against the Camiguin Governor and Catarman, Camiguin mayor Nestor Jacot for robbery, kidnapping, grave threats, physical injuries, and for violation of Sec. 261 of the Omnibus Election Code (carrying firearms outside the residence). Through a motion filed by the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), hearing for the complaint was transferred to the RPO-10 in Cagayan de Oro City July 7, 2010 and a panel of three prosecutors was created to hear the complaint.
After 10 months of deliberations, the panel of prosecutors dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence. The panel also questioned the credibility of the four former media workers calling them “guns-for-hire” and, hence, not “legitimate “media personalities.
Meanwhile, the case against Herbert Hubert Dumaguing filed by a supporter of Catarman hmayor Nestor Jacot is presently at the trial stage.
Joseph Bitas had filed a case against Herbert Hubert Dumaguing forqualified trespassing to dwelling. Bitas had accused Dumaguing of trespassing when he entered his house last May 9, 2010. Dumaguing had claimed that he was able to take a footage of what appeared to be vote-buying by supporters of Jacot, who is an ally of Governor Romualdo, from Bitas’ house.
Executive Coordinator, IFJ-NUJP Manila Safety Office
JB R. Deveza
Coordinator, Mindanao Mindanao Media Safety Office