DOJ to take over cases on Isko Moreno’s arrest-A A +A
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
MANILA -- Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Tuesday prosecutors in Manila have inhibited from the alleged illegal gambling case involving the city's Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and five others.
As a result, the case against Moreno and Councilors Asuncion Fugoso, Joel Chua, Ernesto Isip Jr. and Yul Servo Nieto, and former councilor Manuel Zarcal, will be transferred to the main office of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
"In other words, the Manila Prosecutor's Office is inhibiting from said cases, given the volatility of the controversies involved. We want our local prosecutors to be shielded from extreme pressures and partisan influences," said de Lima in a text message.
Moreno and his five companions were detained last Saturday after they were caught by police sponsoring a bingo game, which is illegal under Presidential Decree 1602. The vice mayor said the arrest was unfounded since bingo was exempted from the list of illegal gambling activities through Republic Act 9287.
They were released on Sunday morning but still have to be subjected to further investigation.
Moreno is seeking re-election under the ticket of Manila mayoral aspirant and former President Joseph Estrada. Estrada's opponent, Mayor Alfredo Lim, has since denied insinuation that he was behind the arrest. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)