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Cebu News

Over 2004 physical assault: NBI nabs Santa Fe ex-mayor

- Mylen P. Manto -

CEBU, Philippines – NBI agents armed with a Sandiganbayan warrant yesterday arrested the former mayor of Santa Fe town over a 2004 physical injuries case.

Roger E. Ilustrisimo, who served as mayor of the town in Bantayan Island for two terms from 2001 to 2007, was arrested after the anti-graft court issued a final ruling on the case against him.

He was arrested at home in barangay Poblacion, Santa Fe in the presence of his wife, the current mayor, Jennifer Ilustrisimo.

The warrant was issued by the Sandiganbayan for the finality of judgment after the Supreme Court, Third Division denied the petition for review on certiorari filed by Ilustrisimo.

On September 20, 2010 the Sandiganbayan ruled that the petition filed by Ilustrisimo has already become final and executory.

The court ruled "for the purposes of executing the final judgment, let the bench warrant of arrest be issued against Ilustrisimo.

"The cash bond posted by Ilustrisimo for his provisional liberty pending appeal is hereby cancelled and said accused is hereby directed to surrender to Sandiganbayan within five days."

In the decision of the lower court dated January 29, 2007 Ilustrisimo was found guilty of serious physical injuries.

He was sentenced to suffer four months and twenty days as minimum and a maximum of two years, eleven months and ten days imprisonment.

Ilustrisimo's victim Catalino P. Veliganilao, a day care worker, alleged that he was attacked without any provocation and was hit with a firearm of undetermined caliber which resulted to his loss of three teeth.

Ilustrisimo pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on October 17, 2005.

The Supreme Court, Third Division denied the petition for review on certiorari assailing the decision dated January 29, 2009 and resolution dated April 17, 2009 of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal cases No. 28286 for failure of petitioner.

The petitioner should state the material date of receipt of the assailed decision in violation of Sections 4[b] and 5, Rule 45 in relation to section 5[d], Rule 56 and accompany the petition with a clearly legible duplicate original, or a certified true copy of the assailed decision and resolution certified by the Clerk of Court of the Court of Appeals, in violation of Sections 4[d] and 5, Rule 45 in relation to Section 5[d], rule 56.

Lawyer Rod Bagaslao, counsel of Ilustrisimo stated that the complainant of the case is already deceased and that the case filed against his client was an ordinary case.

He added that they will review the ruling before making their next move.

Bagaslao further said that the Supreme Court denied their petition because of the technicality that they forgot to put the date.

According to NBI Agent Arnel Pura, there was no resistance from the former mayor when the bench warrant was served.

Before the 2007 elections, the Ilustrisimos were in the spotlight after Roger's father, Rogelio, also a former mayor of the town, was gunned down outside the provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The suspect of the case, policeman Arnulfo Pigon, has been acquitted.

The elder Ilustrisimo was supposed to seek the mayoralty post of the town that year and his death forced the family to have Jennifer run for mayor as replacement. -/NLQ (FREEMAN)

AGENT ARNEL PURA

ARNULFO PIGON

BANTAYAN ISLAND

CATALINO P

CLERK OF COURT OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

COURT

ILUSTRISIMO

SANDIGANBAYAN

SANTA FE

SUPREME COURT

THIRD DIVISION

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