Castro’s colorful career, love life
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - January 19, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Until the end, Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro’s life and career remained colorful and controversial.

 

Castro, who was considered a “strong-willed lady and is not afraid to speak her mind,” by a colleague in the legal profession was killed in an ambush Thursday night on Escario Street, Cebu City, while driving her car.

She was 49.

Castro’s Cases

In 2014, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas finding Castro guilty of grave misconduct over the filing of case seeking for the nullification of her marriage against her husband, Rocky Rommel Roa.

Castro alleged there was no forum shopping as what the Ombudsman ruled because the first petition for declaration of nullity of marriage she filed before the Regional Trial Court in Mandaue City against her husband was on the ground of psychological incapacity, while in RTC Barili was based on fraud.

The two petitions, she said were not “identical.”

The CA ruled in Castro’s favor that she did not commit forum shopping.

Also, the perjury case filed against her in relation to the above-mentioned case was dismissed by the Municipal Trial Court in Barili.

In 2015, the Supreme Court suspended Castro from the service for six months for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. Allegedly, she summoned the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) for a “purely personal matter” to aid her brother and sister-in-law.

In 2015, the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas dismissed the complaint of qualified bribery; removal, concealment, or destruction of documents; falsification of public documents and anti-graft filed against Castro for lack of probable cause.

This is in relation to the complaint filed by Patrick Henri George, along with his two brothers, before the Prosecutor’s Office against Alkazim for large-scale illegal recruitment and swindling-estafa.

Castro was the investigating fiscal in that criminal complaint.

In 2016, Castro filed damage suit against former Police Regional Office-7 Director Manuel Gaerlan, Superintendent Rex Derilo, Senior Inspector Romeo Sentinta Jr., Senior Inspector Ruel Burlat, SPO1 Roy Carlo Veloso, PO3 Joseph Bugtai, PO2 Esmeraldo Quillosa, PO3 Cesar Pandong, PO3 Albert Luardo, PO1 Khristine Jean Quibod, and PO1 Hyacinth Clavano for allegedly violating her rights and humiliating her in public.

Castro went to RSOG office to demand that a certain Maricel Gregory be released from the police custody so she could be turned over to the Talisay City Police Office, believing that she was being hidden inside.

Gregory, an alleged common-law partner of Castro’s estranged husband, Greco Sanchez, was the subject of the warrant of arrest for the libel case that Castro has filed in Talisay City.

Aside from the civil case of damages, Castro also filed obstruction of justice and grave misconduct against RSOG members before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly harboring and concealing Maricel Gregory, common-law partner of Greco Sanchez, estranged husband of Castro.

In 2017, the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the complaint of bigamy filed by Castro against Greco.

In the resolution, it ruled that Sanchez could not be held liable because Castro failed to prove that she did not have prior knowledge of Sanchez’s marriage to Virginia Magnase on June 3, 1999.

On December 14, 2017, the Shari’a Circuit Court in Pagadian City declared the marriage of Castro and Greco void.  Castro and Greco’s marriage was contracted on August 18, 2015.

In 2018, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the suspension of Castro for 90 days. This is in relation to the complaint filed by former Cebu Provincial Board Member Grecilda Sanchez-Zaballero, the sister of Castro’s estranged husband, Greco.

Zaballero charged Castro with notorious undesirability, dishonest and immoral or deceitful conduct and grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and conduct grossly prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Castro’s Love Life

The lady prosecutor also caught the limelight when, in August 2002, Cherry Basalo Augusto filed an administrative complaint before the anti-graft office for immorality and grave misconduct against her for allegedly having an extra-marital affair with her husband, Zandro Augusto.

Cherry claimed she had seen Castro and Zandro inside a motel in Mandaue City on Aug. 11, 2002.

On October 3, 2002, Cherry was shot in the head allegedly by PO1 Clementino Dulguime Jr., who reportedly also shot himself using the same gun.

Two months after, Castro and Zandro went on a “date” at a mountain restaurant in Cebu City.  Their relationship had fizzled out.

On Aug. 18, 2015, Castro, who was then 45 years old, married Leodegreco “Greco” Sanchez, 38, son of the late Cebu vice governor Gregorio Sanchez jr., through Muslim rites a day after “Greco” was released from a drug rehabilitation center.

They separated two months later. — GAN (FREEMAN)

MARY ANN CASTRO
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