By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
After their motion for reconsideration was denied by the Office of the Ombudsman last May, following a guilty verdict on weapons and explosives possession charges, the group arrested during a 2013 raid at the Montilla compound in Barangay Ubay, Pulupandan recently appealed to the Supreme Court.
The petitioners, comprised of Manny Rio, Joey Yunque, Jr., Deolito Morancil, Jimmy Castaños, Rey Asgar, Nelvon Gange, Armando Dela Paz, and Jay Gange, called the initial raid “illegal.” They argue the search was conducted without a warrant as the Bago City Regional Trial Court had earlier invalidated a previous warrant, citing it as being “unlawfully obtained.”
They named former Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office director, Police Senior Superintendent William Señoron, in the case, noting, he did not personally appear in court when the initial warrant was issued and instead sent affidavits by courier.
The group said the Ombudsman did not consider the circumstance.
They also claimed scene of the crime operatives (SOCO) intended to destroy the seized explosives, which the petitioners claimed was planted.
“The respondents sought for [their] destruction because its presentation in court would later show that the explosives were planted by the operatives during the raid,” the group asserted.
Also among those named in the case include former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) director, Police Chief Superintendent Francisco Uyami, Jr.; former Police Regional Office-6 director, Police Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz; Senior Police Officer 1 Joshua Barile; and Provincial Prosecutor Ma. Consolacion Bascug./DGB, WDJ