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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, June 5, 2013
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Peña camp to file
cases vs. CIDG official


Multiple charges are being readied against Senior Supt. Jose Mario Espino, chief of the Anti Organized Crime Division of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, for the raid on the ancestral home of Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña in Barangay Ubay, Pulupandan, lawyer Roger Reyes said yesterday.

The raid implemented on the strength of a search warrant issued by Judge Maria Felomina Singh of the Quezon City RTC Branch 85, yielded 90 firearms, ammunition and explosives, Espino had said.

Reyes said indirect contempt charges will be filed against Espino today before Bacolod Regional Trial Court Branch 42 Judge Fernando Elumba for his attempt to obstruct the release of 76 of the firearms to a court sheriff on Thursday night.

“We are also preparing charges for robbery, grave coercion, arbitrary detention and damages against Espino,” Reyes said.

Espino could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Miguel Peña and Golden Lake Mineral Resources Inc., JHMA Marin Holdings and Kentfield Corp., which he  represents as their president/chairman of the board, and Vegas Exploration and Mining Corp., represented by its president, Federico Infante Jr., last week filed a civil case for replevin versus Chief Inspector Fernando Salvatierra, CIDG Bacolod chief, and Chief Inspector Ramonit Javier, PNP Provincial Crime Laboratory and Scene of the Crime Office, to recover 76 of the seized firearms.

On Thursday, Elumba issued a writ of replevin but when the sheriff went to seize the firearms, Espino directed Javier to defy the court, Reyes said.

Javier eventually released 27 of the firearms Thursday night, with the 49 others recovered by the sheriffs from the SOCO evidence room on Friday.

Javier was relieved from his post on Friday.

All 76 firearms are now being held at the Bacolod Hall of Justice and may be returned to Peña and the four firms this week if the judge does not entertain a motion filed by Espino, SPO3 Rosendo Bersal and SPO2 Jeyvee Aglipay before Branch 42 Monday.

In their answer-in-intervention with counterclaim, and motion for the return of seized firearms in response to the civil case for replevin, they asked that the charges be dismissed and that the 76 guns be turned over to the Quezon City RTC Branch 85.

Their counterclaim also asked that Miguel Peña and the four firms claiming ownership of the firearms, and their lawyers, Roem Arbolado and Sahlee Gail Yparosa-Lobaton, jointly pay P20 million in damages to the CIDG.

Reyes yesterday claimed that the counterclaim and motion of Espino, Bersal and Aglipay were defective, the court is likely to treat them as mere scraps of paper.

They did not file a motion to intervene, so they can not be a party to the replevin case, Reyes said.

They also did not pay a docket fee of P400,000 for their P20 million claim for damages, Reyes said, adding that Ortiz is not a lawyer, and cannot sign and submit his pleadings in court.*CPG



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