CA orders release of 2 men accused in Batasan bombing-A A +A
Monday, September 2, 2013
TWO men accused in the deadly bombing at the Batasan Pambansa in November 2007 will soon be released from detention after the Court of Appeals (CA) upheld a Quezon City judge’s decision to grant them temporary freedom.
In a resolution, the CA 15th Division saw nothing irregular in the order of Judge Ralph Lee of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court branch 83 allowing respondents Caidar Aunal and Adham Cusain to post P200,000 bail due to the prosecution’s failure to present substantial evidence.
Aunal and Cusain initially said they had a hand in the blast that killed then Basilan Representative Wahab Akbar and four others. But the two recalled their statements after telling the court that they were tortured by the police just to admit the crime.
"The prevailing rule is that the court must avoid issuing a writ or preliminary injunction that would, in effect, dispose of the main case without trial, for otherwise there would be a prejudgment of the main case and a reversal of the rule on burden of proof since such issuance would assume the proposition that the OSG (Office of Solicitor General) is initially bound to prove, that is, that the prosecution's evidence proved that the evidence of private respondents' guilt is strong," CA said through Associate Justice Melchor Sadang.
CA then directed the lawyers of Aunal and Cusain to comment on the OSG’s opposition to their release within 10 days.
Akbar’s political rival Gerry Salapuddin was accused of masterminding the crime but the Supreme Court in March sided with the resolution issued by then Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales in April 2008 excluding him from the list of respondents.
The High Court said there was no evidence to prove claims that Salapuddin was present during the bombing. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)