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DOJ takes over cops’ complaint vs Manila vice mayor

‘Volatile’ case too hot to handle for Manila prosecutors

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Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Too hot to handle.

The illegal gambling case filed against Manila Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso will be turned over to a state prosecutor from the Department of Justice (DOJ) after the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office decided to inhibit itself due to “the volatility of the controversies involved.”

“Upon recommendation of City Prosecutor Edward Togonon and concurred in by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, I have directed the transfer of the Isko Moreno cases and other related cases, if any, from the Manila City Prosecutor’s office to the main office to be handled henceforth by a state prosecutor,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said in a text message to reporters Tuesday.

“We want our local prosecutors to be shielded from extreme pressures and partisan influences,” she added.

Domagoso was arrested along with four Manila councilors and a former councilor over a bingo game they sponsored on Tambunting Street in Sta. Cruz, Manila, last Saturday. They were ordered released for further investigation several hours after their arrest after the city prosecutor said there was not enough evidence against them.

The incident, however, led to a word war between Domagoso and Mayor Alfredo Lim after the former accused his former political ally of political harassment. Lim, in return, denied Domagoso’s allegation and claimed he was resorting to dramatics to court publicity.

Domagoso, meanwhile, went to the National Police Commission office in Makati City on Tuesday to file administrative and criminal complaints against the policemen who arrested them.

He was accompanied by Councilors Joel Chua, Ernesto “Jong” Isip Jr., Ma. Asuncion “Re” Fugoso, John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto and former Councilor Manual “Letlet” Zarcal—the persons who were arrested along with him on Saturday.

The group charged Blumentritt police precinct commander Chief Insp. Ed Morata and 30 John Does with grave misconduct and grave abuse of authority and said they would file another complaint against the same set of policemen in the Office of the Ombudsman later in the day.

In a phone interview, Chua said the second complaint would be for robbery, unlawful arrest, arbitrary detention, perjury under oath, incrimination of innocent persons and grave coercion.

Moreno is the running mate of former president Joseph Estrada, who is running for mayor of Manila under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). The two are running against Lim and councilor Lou Veloso of the Liberal Party.—With Cathy Yamsuan, Jaymee T. Gamil and Erika Sauler, PDI; and Tetch Torres, INQUIRER.net

Originally posted at 04:30 pm | Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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Tags: 2013 elections , Alfredo Lim , Elections , Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso , illegal gambling , Isko Moreno , Manila , Manila politics , Metro , News , Philippines - Metro , Politics

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