PNP says court asked to reconsider dismissal of case vs Doc Naty
MANILA, Philippines — The provincial prosecutor of Agusan del Sur has filed a motion for reconsideration on the dismissal of kidnapping charges against human rights and public health advocate Dr. Maria Natividad “Naty” Castro, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.
“We received information that the Provincial Prosecutor already filed Motion for Reconsideration yesterday. On the part of the PNP, we reserved our right to seek available legal remedies that may convince the Court to reconsider its decision,” PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo told INQUIRER.net in a text message.
The Bayugan City Regional Trial Court Branch 7, in a March 25 resolution, said it found no probable cause against Castro and ordered her release from the Agusan del Sur provincial jail.
Acting Presiding Judge Fernando Fudalan Jr. said that “without probable cause, the court did not acquire jurisdiction over the accused, which warrants the dismissal of this case.”
Fudalan cited the denial of Castro’s “substantive right” to due process and lack of jurisdiction over the doctor as grounds for dismissing the case.
Castro walked out of detention on Wednesday following the court’s decision.
Castro was arrested in San Juan City on February 18 through a warrant of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court of Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur on January 30, 2020, for alleged kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
The police accused Castro of being part of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ central committee and head of the New People’s Army’s National Health Bureau. Human rights group Karapatan, however, said that Castro is a known human rights advocate and health worker in Mindanao.
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