Prosecution to rest case vs Parojinog daughter
MANILA, Philippines — State prosecutors will rest their case in the trial of Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition after the defense finishes its cross-examination.
According to Senior State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Maj. Jovie Espenido — Ozamiz City Police chief, who was called to the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 95’s witness stand on Tuesday — would be their last witness.
“Today is the continuation of the cross exam, after that, we’ll no longer present another witness. So we will now manifest that we are resting our case,” Navera told INQUIRER.net. “We’re still waiting for the defense to finish with their cross-examination after he [Espenido] finishes his cross-examination, we intend to manifest to that we will file our formal offer already because the prosecution will rest its case.”
However, Espenido said that an additional hearing was set because the defense had additional questions.
“I’m the last witness,” Espenido, speaking in Filipino, said in a separate interview. “This was supposed to be my last cross-examination, but the defense is looking for something else.”
The last hearing, he added, could be held in July.
Espenido became controversial after two mayors were killed while he was the police chief of their respective local government units.
In July 2017, former Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and 14 others were killed in a raid — the same incident where Nova Princess was arrested for illegal possession of firearms and illegal drugs.
Before that, Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera town in Leyte was killed in his detention cell.
Both Parojinog and Espinosa supposedly had links to the drug trade.
Espenido insists that the operation against the Parojinogs was legitimate.
He also hopes that a recent guilty verdict against another Parojinog — for drug possession Reynaldo Jr. — would be repeated in this case against Nova Princess.
“We will try to convince the court the police operation was legitimate,” Espenido said. “On my part, I will not let that go to waste. There were proceedings against the brother of Nova Princess. It was a legitimate process.”
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)