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Fiscal, 6 others arrested after ruckus at police office

(The Freeman) - March 8, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro, along with four men and two women, were arrested Monday night for allegedly causing disturbance at the office of the Regional Special Operations Task Group.

Senior Inspector Ruel Burlat, of RSOG-7 told reporters that Castro went to the office at past 6 p.m. Monday when she heard that the woman she sued for libel, Maricel Gregory, has turned herself in. Gregory surrendered after warrants of arrest were issued against her in relation to Castro’s case.

Castro reportedly did not stay long but returned at past 10 p.m. with companions. When she saw Gregory inside the RSOG-7 office, she reportedly wanted to go in but when she realized that the door was locked, she allegedly ordered her companions to destroy the door.

The policemen present intervened but Castro and her companions allegedly resisted, which created a commotion. Burlat said Castro also allegedly bit him in his right arm.

"Sa pag-aksyon namo og aresto, iyang gipugngan, iyang gikuha akong kamot, iyang gipaak… nevertheless, amo siyang gi-aresto," Burlat said.

"Iya pa ming gibalikasan mga bulay-og nga polis. Ingon siya, 'ako piskal ko, ako maoy complainant'… iya ming gisugo kay piskal siya. Gihadlok mi nga kihaan," Burlat added.

Superintendent Rex Derilo, chief of the Regional Intelligence Division, said they can take insults but they cannot allow anyone to hurt people in their custody.

"This is too much. Respitohin sana ang polis. Kung naa na sa custody ang piniriso, leave it to the police kay kami may motubag kung dunay mahitabo sa dinakpan," Derilo said.

Derilo said that despite Castro’s behavior, they still respected her only that they also had the responsibility to protect Gregory.

Castro’s companions, William Contamina, Benjielito Lapera, Leo Suaso, and Jonas Niñez, said they were made to believe that they were going to a restaurant but Castro brought them to RSOG-7.

Aside from them, Castro was with Hazel Mabuyo and Gaudiosa Rodrigo who were also arrested.

Charges

Yesterday, the police filed charges of grave coercion, grave oral defamation, malicious mischief, direct assault, and resistance and disobedience to persons in authority against Castro.

Her cohorts are also facing raps, expect for grave coercion and grave oral defamation.

From RSOG-7 where she was detained overnight, Castro was brought to the hospital as part of procedure before she was turned over to the Fuente Police Station.

Medical personnel were on board the police mobile after she reportedly collapsed and suffered from chest pain.

In an interview with The FREEMAN, Castro cried foul over the “inappropriate treatment” by the police. She said she was kept under “inhumane conditions” and placed inside an enclosure in a basement at ROSG-7, which reportedly smelled foul.

Yesterday, her lawyer filed before the court a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, a recourse wherein a detainee can seek relief from unlawful detention.

In the petition, Castro alleged that she and six others were taken into custody without a warrant of arrest and detained without any criminal charge filed against them within the required 16 hours.

“The restraint of liberty of the petitioners by the respondent is therefore without any legal authority,” part of the petition reads. — (FREEMAN)

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