Aklan ex-mayor to remain in Cebu jail
FORMER Lezo town, Aklan mayor Alfredo Arsenio, who is facing murder charges, will remain in the Cebu provincial jail.
A Cebu judge denied the Capitol’s motion to transfer him to the Cebu City Jail.
In a verbal order, Regional Trial Court Judge Sylvia Aguirre-Paderanga of Branch 16 said Arsenio couldn’t be detained at the Cebu City Jail since the crime didn’t happen within the city’s jurisdiction.
Arsenio, who’s facing murder charges for the death of Bombo Radyo dyIN station manager Herson “Boy” Hinolan in Kalibo, Aklan on Nov. 13, 2004, is still detained at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).
The defense yesterday presented as its second witness Eddie Gitrata, a former security guard, who allegedly Hinolan gunned down.
Gitrata testified that he saw the victim being chased by a man in a green jacket and a ball cap. He said the assailant was not Arsenio.
He said the assailant stumbled upon reaching a ramp near a gasoline station.
Defense lawyer Eduardo Arriba said the prosecution never presented Gitrata before although his affidavit was used in the filing of the case against Arsenio.
“He is a vital witness,” Arriba told reporters.
Arsenio, who insists he’s innocent, said he was home at the time of the shooting.
The court had ordered the transfer of the venue of the hearing to Cebu as well as to detain the former mayor in the province to ensure the accused would not influence the outcome of the case or harass witnesses.
The Capitol this year took steps to ask the court to transfer Arsenio after adverse publicity over the ex-mayor’s unauthorized outing last Feb. 8, when Arsenio was seen having lunch with his lawyer and a jail guard at Sabel’s Restaurant near the Palace of Justice without handcuffs instead of being taken straight back to the CPDRC after a court hearing.
Images of Arsenio’s lunch out were was shown in a TV-5 newscast and in Cebu Daily News’s front page.
The report prompted Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to immediately relieve CPDRC jail warden Alger Comendador and suspend the detainee’s jail-guard escort.
A month after, security camera footage caught him holding a birthday party inside the jail on a day when visitors were supposed to be prohibited from entering the jail.
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