Official ‘refused’ to bring victim of road accident to hospital, charged

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Monday, July 14, 2014


THE Office of the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor has hauled a village chief from Barili, Cebu to court for failing to help a wounded pregnant woman on the road in May last year.

Assistant Provincial Pro-secutor Jay Paradiang found evidence to indict Bugtong Kawayan Barangay Captain Gonzalo Salinas for violating Article 233 of the Revised Penal Code.

“Upon evaluation of the allegations of the complainants and the respondent (Salinas), the undersigned submits probable cause exists to indict respondent as charged. What is not disputed is respondent didn’t comply with the policemen’s request,” said Paradiang in the resolution.

The law penalizes public officials who “refuse or fail to lend his cooperation towards the administration of justice or other public service.”

Those found guilty will face jail term between two months to four years, disqualification from holding public office, and a fine of not more than P1,000.

Police officers Mark Anthony Fat and Florentino Cuadero Jr. of the Barili Police Station filed the complaint against Bugtong Kawayan Captain Salinas.

They accused him of being “unethical” when he left the victim on the road. 

Line Navarro, who was seven months pregnant, ended up dying.

Policemen’s accounts

In their joint-affidavit, the policemen said they responded to a vehicular accident on May 20, 2013 on the national highway in Barangay Mantalongon.

A multicab driven by Nelson Gonzales, barangay captain of Guibuangan, Barili, hit Navarro, Eva Mae Salazar and Joemar Bertoldo.

The policemen said they rushed to the area to bring the wounded passengers to the hospital. Since their patrol car could only accommodate two people, the policemen said they decided to leave Navarro for the moment.

Then they saw Salinas. They asked him to bring Navarro to the hospital on his government vehicle.

Salinas, however, allegedly declined as he was in a hurry to attend a council session.

Salinas, in his counter-affidavit, said he went on his way because he thought the victim was already dead.

“More than this, this investigator is of the considered opinion that respondent’s repeated claim that (Line) Navarro was already dead is bereft of support for it should be noted that respondent was not competent to declare Line Navarro was dead.

Definitely, respondent was not the right person to say so,” read Prosecutor Paradiang’s resolution, which was approved by Provincial Prosecutor Jane Petralba.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 15, 2014.

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