Tiu: Reconsider downgrade

Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - March 5, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The camp of lawyer Jiecel Tiu has asked the Municipal Trial Court in Cities to suspend proceedings of the complaint she filed against the wife of Ronda, Cebu Vice Mayor Jonah John Ungab.

Lawyer Chev Maglasang, one of Jiecel’s legal counsels, said that pending resolution of their motion for reconsideration, court proceedings should not happen yet.

“We will exhaust all legal remedies,” she said, explaining that their motion for reconsideration would seek for the reversal of the City Prosecutor’s Office’s decision to downgrade her client’s complaint against Pearl Ungab from frustrated murder to slight physical injuries only.

Assistant City Prosecutor Liceria Rabillas downgraded the case from frustrated murder to slight physical injuries citing there was no intent to kill.

Maglasang, accompanied by Jiecel’s sister Atty. Alisia Tiu, appeared before the City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday to furnish it a copy of their motion for reconsideration filed before the court.

Pearl allegedly attacked Jiecel with a baseball bat last Thursday, February 26, while the lawyer was outside the Centro Maximo Bldg. on Ranudo corner Jakosalem Streets at around 5:45 p.m.

Jiecel suffered injuries to the head, below the left ear and in the left shoulder as a result of the attack.

Rabillas however, ruled Pearl had no intent to kill because if there was, she could have used a gun or smashed Jiecel’s with her pickup truck. City Prosecutor’s Office Officer-in-charge Maria Luisa Ratilla approved Rabillas’ recommendation.

“The fact that the respondent just ran towards her (Jiecel’s) car and banged the right passenger window with her fist and tried to open the door without any weapon at hand, would tell that she does not have the plan to kill the complainant. The presumption, therefore, of criminal intent may arise from the proof of the criminal act of the respondent,” read the prosecutor’s disposition.

Rabillas also said that considering that Tiu’s medico-legal certificate  did not mention the period of medical attention she needs, what she suffered simply falls under the category of slight physical injuries, as based on a Supreme Court decision in the case People of the Philippines versus Panesa.

“The crime is also slight physical injuries if there is no proof as to the period of the offended party’s incapacity for labor or of the required medical attendance,” the jurisprudence reads.

Lawyer Rex Fernandez, another of Jiecel’s legal counsels, also told the media that their camp would file a motion for reconsideration before the City Prosecutor’s Office.

Rabillas, however, said their office cannot entertain or resolve any motion for reconsideration in relation to Pearl’s case since jurisdiction now belongs to the MTCC.

“There is another remedy.  They can file a petition for review before the Department of Justice,” she said.

Fernandez said they are planning to file a complaint against Rabillas before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas because of her bias for the respondent as evidenced by the way the prosecutor resolved the complaint they filed.

He alleged that Rabillas and the vice mayor were friends, to which Rabillas said she of course knew him because they were both lawyers. Rabillas also said the resolution was not reached by her alone but by the entire office.

Rabillas said it is within Tiu’s right to file any complaint against her.

“It’s up to them. Again, the decision of me is the decision of this office,” she said.  — (FREEMAN)


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