Carabuenas no-show; prosecutor set to rule on road-rage caseBy Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A Quezon City prosecutor is now set to make a determination whether to indict on criminal charges two brothers recently caught on video assaulting a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority traffic enforcer, after they failed on Thursday to file a response to a complaint of serious physical injury filed against them.
Assistant city prosecutor Victorino Badua Jr told the Inquirer that the charge against brothers Robert Blair and Benjamin Carabuena was now deemed submitted for resolution.
According to Badua, a lawyer appeared in behalf of the brothers at last scheduled hearing of his preliminary investigation on Monday morning and sought a further three-day extension of the deadline for them to their counter-affidavit.
But, he said, the MMDA opposed the request, citing the previous deadline extension granted to the Carabuenas to file their counter-affidavit.
“Because of the opposition, I asked both parties to return that same day (last Monday) at 2 p.m. and directed the lawyer of the Carabuenas to submit their counter-affidavit then. But nobody appeared for the respondents,” he told the Inquirer, adding no counter-affidavit had been filed by Thursday.
During the August 29 proceedings at Badua’s office the Carabuenas, who were expected to file their counter-affidavit, sought an extension until September 10.
In their September 10 urgent motion to extend, lawyer Caesar Ortega claimed that he did not have enough time to consult with the Carabuena brothers who, he said, were still recovering from their August 23 “stressful experience” and two weeks of being subjected to alleged cyber bullying.
Since the alleged assault video was uploaded, Robert Blair Carabuena has been deluged with harsh criticism and jeers on the Internet. Carabuena had to be taken to the hospital before the start of the last scheduled hearing on August 23 after a hostile crowd at the Quezon City Hall of Justice tried to pelt him with mineral water bottles although he was flanked by police and MMDA escorts.
The Carabuenas were caught on a phone video assaulting MMDA traffic aide Saturnino Fabros on August 11. The video went viral on the Internet after it was uploaded and featured August 14 on a news and public affairs show aired over TV5.