4 suspects in Quezon minibus burning freed from jail

4 suspects in Quezon minibus burning freed from jail

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 02:36 AM March 12, 2024

PHOTO: Map of the Philippines showing location of Quezon STORY: 4 suspects in Quezon bus burning freed from jail

LUCENA CITY, Quezon, Philippines — The four suspects linked to the burning of a modern minibus in Catanauan, Quezon last January were released from detention on Monday, March 11.

“The court granted our motion to quash. They were released from jail around 7:30 p.m. today,” lawyer Mike Marpuri, one of the four lawyers, said in a short phone interview Monday evening.


He was referring to their four clients — filmmaker Jade Francis Castro and companions Ernesto Orcine, Noel Mariano, and Dominic Ramos, who were detained at the Bureau of Jail Management Penology jail facility in Catanauan.


READ: ‘Warrantless arrest’ of filmmaker, pals in Quezon bus torching hit

Marpuri said they received a copy of the court order around 4 p.m.

On Feb. 16, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Lirio Roces Muñoz recommended filing destructive arson charges against the four.

Police alleged that the four were identified by witnesses — mainly the driver and passengers — as the armed group who set the vehicle on fire around 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 at Barangay Dahican in Catanauan.

They were arrested without a warrant on Feb. 1 at a beach resort in the neighboring town of Mulanay.

Micah Villaverde, chairperson of Gumaca Transport Cooperative and owner of the destroyed vehicle, filed the complaint.


Mulanay public information officer Gelo Amisola had defended the suspects, stating they were in Mulanay when the burning incident occurred.

Footage from local security cameras also corroborated their presence in Mulanay.

Their lawyers assailed their arrest and insisted that it was illegal.

Last Feb. 21, during the initial hearing, the lawyers filed a motion to quash the charges.

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Under the Rules of Court, a motion to quash is filed by an accused before arraignment. It challenges information or charge sheets for defects apparent at face value. Once granted, its effect will be a dismissal of the case.

The next hearing is supposed to be held tomorrow, March 12.

TAGS: arson case, Jade Francis Castro, Quezon bus burning

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