No physical proof vs director in arson case

No physical proof vs director Jade Castro in arson case

/ 05:05 AM February 20, 2024

PHOTO: Jade Castro STORY: No physical proof vs director Jade Castro in arson case

Director Jade Castro (File photo from his Facebook account)

MANILA, Phillippines — A police investigator told a House hearing on Monday that he did not find any physical evidence to link film maker Jade Castro and three others to the burning of a modern jeepney in Quezon province on Jan. 31.

When Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers asked case investigator Senior Master Sgt. Jonjon Pordan about the four men’s motive, the police investigator replied that he conducted a “cyber patrolling” of Castro’s Facebook account, which had posts that were against the government’s modernization program for public utility vehicles


But Pordan admitted he did not find any physical evidence to link the suspects to the arson incident and that the four were arrested based on the positive identification made by witnesses.


In the hearing held by the House Committee on Public Order and Safety chaired by Santa Rosa City Rep. Dan Fernandez, congressmen questioned the procedure used by the police in arresting Castro and three others for arson after the burning of a modern jeepney in Catanauan town on Jan. 31.

READ: Arson case vs filmmaker, pals gets DOJ attention as kin cry foul

The police said that Castro, Ernesto Orcinem, Noel Mariano, and Dominic Ramos were arrested in a hot pursuit operation the following day at a resort in Mulanay town.

But Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter Palma pointed out that in a hot pursuit operation, “there should be no interruption as to the continuity of the crime.”

Illegal arrest

Based on this, 1-Rider Party-list Rep. Bonifacio Bosita said the Catanauan police made an “illegal arrest” since there was a gap between the time the crime occurred and the arrest of the four men.

Catanauan town police chief Capt. Daniel dela Cruz Jr. told the committee that from the crime scene, they went to Mulanay town to take photos of the suspects using a cell phone. The police then returned to Catanauan to show the photos to witnesses before going back to Mulanay to invite Castro and company to the police station. There, the four were positively identified by witnesses as the ones who burned the modern jeepney.


House committee on creative industries chair and Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia told the panel that Castro’s arrest could have a “chilling effect on the film industry as well as the whole creative industries,” referring to information the director was in Quezon to “immerse” for a future project.

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TAGS: arrested filmmaker, Arson, Jade Castro

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