Court allows reinvestigation of gun raps vs Angel Manalo
A Quezon City court has ordered a reinvestigation of the gun charge against a scion of the feuding Manalo family of the powerful Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC).
Judge Luisito Cortez of the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 84 reopened the preliminary investigation of the illegal gun possession charges against Angel Manalo, the estranged brother of INC’s executive minister Eduardo Manalo.
According to court documents obtained by the Inquirer, the court found merit in the motion for reinvestigation filed by Angel, who claimed he and his co-respondents only learned of the charges against them on March 10.
Along with his nephew Victor Erano Manalo Hemedez and former Marine officer Jonathan Ledesma, Angel said they immediately sought a reinvestigation on March 15.
Cortez said the accused should have the right to preliminary investigation.
“To deny the claim of the accused to a preliminary investigation would be to deprive him of the full measure of his right to due process,” he said.
In the same order, the court denied with finality the motion seeking to quash the search warrant that led to the discovery of firearms inside Angel’s home on March 2.
Angel’s camp had earlier argued that the warrant issued by another QC court was invalid and all the discovered weapons and ammunitions should also be inadmissible as evidence.
They had since filed another motion for the court to reconsider its order.
In March, members of the Quezon City Police District raided the home of Manalo, an expelled INC member, inside No. 36 Tandang Sora Avenue after two INC security guards claimed there was an armory inside the residential compound.
Over 25 people were arrested in the raid.
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