Arraignment of Rasuman postponed

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013


CAGAYAN DE ORO -- The panel of prosecutors got frustrated Wednesday as the scheduled arraignment of pyramiding scam suspect Jahcob “Coco” Rasuman was moved by the presiding judge to February 8.

In a short press conference, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela, who heads the 14-member panel of prosecutors, said the arraignment was moved due to the pending motion filed by one of the respondents.

“The panel of prosecutors only received the motion to quash last Monday. Although we filed our written opposition so as not to delay the arraignment of the accused, the presiding judge denied it,” Valenzuela said.

She said all 14 members of the panel from the Justice department in Manila and other parties were present and were “all prepared and ready to argue” for the supposed arraignment.

However, Valenzuela said they were frustrated with the judge's decision.

The first arraignment is supposed to be held at Branch 23, where two syndicated estafa were filed against Rasuman and 11 others, while the second supposed arraignment is to be held at Branch 20 around 2 p.m. for the same case filed by another complainant.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office earlier said they have heightened security at the Hall of Justice for Wednesday's arraignment while the Roads and Traffic Administration had closed all roads leading to the Hall of Justice.

All scheduled trials in different branches at the Hall of Justice for Wednesday were also cancelled, as agreed during a meeting with the Executive Judge.

Lawyer Alejandro Jose Pallugna, counsel of Sultan Yahya M. Tomawis, one of the respondents, earlier said there will be no arraignment because of the motion to quash and motion for judicial redetermination of probable cause they filed.

Arraignment of Rasuman postponed
SENIOR Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela of the Justice department in Manila answers questions from the media outside the Hall of Justice Wednesday morning. Valenzuela said the 14-member panel of prosecutors was frustrated over the postponement of the arraignment of pyramiding scam suspect Jahcob Rasuman. (Joey P. Nacalaban)

Pallugna said Tomawis was not part of the alleged scam.

One of the complainants had filed an affidavit of desistance to exclude Tomawis from the case.

Tomawis is the father-in-law of Coco, whose wife, Princess Tomawis Rasuman, is also one of the respondents.

“I do not see the pursue of arraignment on February 8, and even in the next six months, because even if our two motions will be denied, we can still file our motion for reconsideration,” Pallugna said.

He pointed out that if the motion to quash will be granted by the court, then the syndicated estafa against his client will be automatically dismissed.

Coco, except 11 other members of the Rasuman family who are still at large, was in Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday for the supposed arraignment of the syndicated estafa filed against them in connection with the P120- million investment scam.

The NBI-Department of Justice-Manila proceeded right away to the Lumbia Airport after the supposed arraignment at Branch 20 as Rasuman was flown back to Manila. (Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 31, 2013.

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