DOJ files motion for change of trial venue on Rasuman case-A A +A
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
THE Department of Justice (DOJ) through the Solicitor General filed a motion before the Supreme Court (SC) requesting for change of trial venue from Cagayan de Oro to Manila of the syndicated estafa cases involving the Rasuman group.
In a two-page motion, Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano cited four grounds in requesting for the change in trial venue.
Arrelano cited that most of the parties involved in the cases were already temporarily relocated in Manila for fear of their safety, aside from Jachob “Coco” Rasuman, the principal accused, who is now detained at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila.
Second, he cited that the cost on the part of the government also increases for the transportation of Rasuman from Manila to Cagayan de Oro, apart from the great risk of securing him.
Arellano added that the climate in Cagayan de Oro is not conducive for the holding of trial as the security of the prosecutors and the witnesses is vulnerable to threats, considering the political and economic status of the personalities involved.
He also cited some allegations that local government officials who were involved in the pyramiding scam were either supporters or investors.
“By using their resources, they can easily influence the outcome of the trial by pressuring the judge handling the case or offering monetary consideration, which will readily result to a miscarriage of justice,” Arellano said.
In line with this request, the special panel of prosecutors filed on Monday a motion to suspend proceedings of the pending motions -- motions to quash, motion for judicial determination of existence of probable cause and the extremely urgent motion for judicial re-determination of probable and to dismiss the two cases filed against Sultan Yahya “Jerry” M. Tomawis, and the arraignment of all the accused.
The motion of the special panel of prosecutors was filed after lawyer Alejandro Jose Pallugna, counsel for Tomawis, filed on February 8 a motion to set the case for hearing the motion for judicial re-determination of probable cause for Tomawis.
Pallugna filed the motion at Branch 20 of the Regional Trial Court under Judge Bonifacio Macabaya who then set a hearing on Monday morning.
However, the panel of prosecutors was able to file their motion to stop the proceedings on the same day before the hearing could start.
It was learned that Pallugna did not appear on Monday for the supposed hearing.
Regional State Prosecutor Jaime Umpa said he is hoping that the Supreme Court will grant the motion to change the venue of the trial.
Umpa said he is also happy that a motion to defer proceedings has also been filed pending the first motion.
“These cases are of public interest at binabantayan so dapat lang na walang mangyayaring miscarriage of justice,” he said.
Umpa is also hoping that Macabaya will grant the motion and stop the proceedings of the motions filed by the Rasumans and Tomawis pending the request to change the venue of the trial.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 12, 2013.