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Nova Princess Parojinog seeks dismissal of her drugs, firearms cases

/ 07:21 PM February 19, 2020
Nova Princess Parojinog

Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog (wearing cap) and her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. arrive at the NAIA from Ozamiz City in July 2017. (File photo by MARIANNE BERMUDEZ / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Lawyers of former Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog has asked Quezon City Regional Trial Courts (QCRTC) to dismiss her illegal drug and possession of firearms cases.

Parojinog, through her lawyers, filed demurrer to evidence before QCRTC Branch 95 where she faces illegal possession of firearms and before QCRTC Branch 228 where her illegal possession of drug case is undergoing trial.

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A demurrer to evidence is in effect a motion to dismiss filed by the accused after the prosecution finished its presentation of evidence. The demurrer is anchored on the ground that the evidence presented by the prosecution is insufficient.

Her lawyers said the cases should be dismissed “not because of any failure on the part of the prosecution to present its case, but rather due to the testimonies and credibility of the police witnesses being inherently weak.”

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In her pleas, numerous irregularities were cited as basis for dismissing the cases.

They said prior to the implementation of the search warrant, the advance security team already entered Parojinog’s house and stayed at her house “thereby compromising and invalidating the entire search and seizure operations conducted by the police.”

They added that there is “serious doubt in the integrity and identity of the seized firearms and ammunitions,” citing that even Police chief inspector Berlito De Guzman, arresting officer, was not sure if the former vice mayor owned the seized M16 rifle.

“The uncertainty expressed by PCI De Guzman in identifying the person who owned or was in possession of the subject firearm raised serious doubt on the veracity of the crime charged against the accused as alleged in the Information of this case, and only confirms that the evidence of the prosecution is weak and cannot satisfy the quantum of evidence required for conviction, i.e., proof beyond reasonable doubt,” the demurrer stated.

Even the chain of custody on the supposed seized illegal drugs was broken.

“The truth of the matter is that the police witnesses are simply incapable of proving the charges filed against the accused because their version of the events of the implementation of the search warrant in the accused’s house reeks of a cover-up and set-up rolled into one, and is replete with utter falsities–all of which have been repeatedly pointed out by the accused in this demurrer,” read the motion.

Her lawyers also opposed the move by the State Prosecutors to transfer her to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Bicutan, Taguig from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

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The prosecutors said her continued stay at the PNP-Custodial Center is improper given that the Supreme Court through the Office of the Court Administrator already issued an order to all lower court judges prohibiting issuing commitment orders in Camp Crame.

But Parojinog’s lawyer said the PNP is also the detention of other detainees such as Senator Leila de Lima.

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TAGS: Illegal drugs, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, Leila de Lima, Parojinog
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