Ozamiz judges hesistant to take Parojinog cases – Aguirre
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked the Supreme Court to transfer the venue of the cases filed against the Parojinog siblings from Ozamiz City to a court in Metro Manila.
In a petition, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday cited the apparent hesitation of judges and prosecutors in Ozamiz to handle the cases of Nova Princess Parojinog and her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr.
“I asked the SC for the transfer of the case to Quezon City,” Aguirre said in a text message Monday.
The petition was filed after Ozamiz Regional Trial Court Branch 35 Judge Salome P. Dungog inhibited from the case citing compulsory retirement. The other judge, Edmundo Pintac of the Ozamiz RTC Branch 15 also expressed his intention to inhibit.
The DOJ’s letter to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno dated Aug. 17, 2017, said “Not only are the judges in Ozamiz City hesitant to try the cases in their sala, the Office of the City Prosecutor of Ozamiz City has likewise expressed concern and fear of threats in the event that they will be tasked to prosecute the cases in the Ozamiz City courts.”
“I would like to stress that notwithstanding the death of Mayor Parojinog, their clout should not be underestimated,” the letter said.
It added, “The fact that they have been in power in Ozamiz City for so long is a clear indication that they have the capacity to influence, if not threaten the prosecution witnesses, the judges and the prosecutors and subvert the criminal proceedings in Ozamiz City in their favor.”
The DOJ specifically chose Quezon City due to its proximity to Camp Crame, the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP), where Nova Princess and Reynaldo Jr. are detained. CBB
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