QC court dismisses gun case vs NDFP consultant, companion
MANILA, Philippines —The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 100 has dismissed the illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges filed against National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Rafael Baylosis.
Also cleared by the court was Baylosis’ companion, Roque Guillermo. In a decision made public Tuesday, the court said it granted the demurrer to evidence filed by the two accused.
A demurrer to evidence is in effect a motion to dismiss which is filed by the accused after the prosecution has finished its presentation of evidence. It is anchored on the ground that the evidence presented is insufficient.
“This Court, after considering the evidence, finds the evidence [by the prosecution] insufficient to support a finding of conviction,” the court said.
QC RTC Branch 100 Judge Editha Mina-Aguba ordered the immediate release of Baylosis unless there are other cases or arrest warrants still pending against him.
The court also released the P120,000 bail bond posted by Guillermo for his temporary liberty.
Baylosis and Guillermo were arrested last Jan. 31, 2018 for alleged possession of guns and ammunition. Authorities also reportedly recovered from Baylosis a hand grenade.
The court said the arrest of the two was illegal given that there was no warrant of arrest and they were not arrested while doing a crime.
The court pointed out that the arresting officers admitted that the two were standing on the side of a street when they were arrested.
The police officers approached the two to confirm the report of an informant that they were carrying firearms and explosives.
The arresting officer told the court that the two were arrested after noticing a handle of a firearm tucked in the waistline of the one of the accused.
However, the court pointed out that during his testimony, the police officer said he was not sure whether he saw the gun from 10 meters away or from 15 meters away.
“Either way, it was improbable for him to see, even with his perfect vision, what he declared he had seen under such circumstances at 3 in the afternoon as it is common knowledge that boarding a jeepney would only take a few seconds especially when the two accused were admittedly running and rushing,” the court said.
“It is believed that what PO3 [Jeffrey] Padilla saw was more imagined than real. It was made solely to justify their police operations against the accused,” the court said.
The court added that even if there were firearm and explosive that were confiscated, these were not visibly seen when the two were waiting for a jeepney ride along a busy street in Quezon City.
The court added that while the other police officers said the two were frisked and the lawmen recovered the firearm and explosive, one admitted that he did not see anything.
“The foregoing patently destroyed the credibility of the arrested officers, the same rendered their testimonies unreliable,” the court added.
The supposed firearms, ammunition and explosive allegedly seized from Baylosis and Guillermo were forfeited in favor of the government, the court said. /muf
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