In this file photo from 2017, Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez and her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. arrive at the NAIA-3 with police escorts on their way to Camp Crame.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, File
Illegal possession of firearms trial vs Parojinog Jr. to proceed
Kristine Joy Patag ( - January 23, 2020 - 6:24pm

MANILA, Philippines — A Quezon City court will proceed with the illegal possession of firearms trial of drug convict Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. as it junked his legal challenge to the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence.

QC Regional Trial Court Branch 105 Acting Presiding Judge Editna Miña-Aguba junked Parojinog’s demurrer to evidence and set the trial on March 6 and 27, and April 17 at the New Bilibid Prison, where Parojinog is serving life sentence for possession of illegal drugs.

A demurrer to evidence is a challenge to the sufficiency of prosecution’s evidence that will pave the way for the dismissal of case without the accused having to present counter-evidence.

“As it stands, the totality of the evidence presented by the People is sufficient to sustain conviction. Presentation of countervailing evidence therefore is indispensable,” the 12-page ruling read.

Parojinog Jr. is the son of the former slain mayor of Ozamiz City, Reynaldo Sr. He and his sister, former Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez, were arrested in a bloody raid in their resident in July 2017.

Seized in his possession are a sub machine pistol and one piece of magazine loaded with 10 pieces of live ammunitions, a shotgun loaded with five pieces of live ammunitions and a .40 caliber pistol with five live ammunitions.

Court: Prosecution satisfactorily proved elements of crime

In his demurrer, the younger Parojinog questioned the implementation of the search warrant and said the items were “illegally obtained” as police “unlawfully entered, searched and continuously occupied his house prior to the actual implementation of the subject search warrant.”

He also said the prosecution’s witnesses, three police officers and a barangay kagawad, are “incredible witnesses due to glaring inconsistencies in their testimonies.”

But the court held that the search warrant was valid, and it did not find anything irregular when cops served it. It also said that there was no illegal intrusion into the house of the accused.

The inconsistencies of the witnesses were deemed as “minor details” and “inconsequential” that do not affect the credibility of the witnesses.

“The People had satisfactorily proved the elements of the crime charged,” the court added.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier identified the slain Ozamiz City mayor as one of the public officials with links to the illegal drug trade.

Parojinog Sr., his wife Susan, brother Octavio, sister Mona and other associates were killed in the said raid.

Nova Princess, meanwhile, is charged with possession of dangerous drugs in a separate Quezon City court.

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