Mangudadatu scion in rape case released from jail-A A +A
Thursday, September 27, 2012
DAVAO CITY -- Six months after the Regional Trial Court (RTC) granted his petition for bail, a Mangudadatu scion accused of raping a nursing student was released from detention on Thursday.
Davao City jail warden Superintendent Isabelo V. Cartin Jr. confirmed that Datu Naga Mitra Mangudadatu was released from jail around 3 p.m. on Thursday.
Lawyer Heracleo Malaki III, in a separate interview, said the accused, assisted by his mother, posted P100,000 bail on Thursday afternoon before the RTC-Office of the Clerk of Court.
Court records showed that RTC Branch 16 Judge Emmanuel Carpio on March 27 granted the petition for bail filed by the accused after "the Court finds no strong evidence to deny his constitutional right to bail."
The court recommended a P100,000 bail.
During the scheduled summary hearings for the bail application, the prosecution presented two witnesses -- the victim Victoria (not her real name) and Dr. Maria Theresa Rico-Gepayac, attending physician at Southern Philippines Medical Center who was assigned at the Women and Children Protection Center.
However, Malaki earlier said the accused had not posted bail immediately after the petition was granted since the respondent’s mother "had no money to post for bail yet."
Malaki said the court scheduled the presentation of defense evidence on October 16.
Court records showed that Malaki filed his demurrer before the court on September 14 after the prosecution failed to file its formal offer of evidence.
Under the law, a demurrer to evidence is filed “after the prosecution rests its case, the court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of evidence (1) on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the opportunity to be heard or (2) upon demurrer to evidence filed by the accused with or without leave of court.”
The court directed the prosecution to file its formal offer within 10 days, but no document was submitted before the court yet.
Thus, he requested that the court dismiss the case "for lack of evidence to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt."
On the other hand, private prosecutor Aimee Torrefranca, counsel for Victoria, filed on September 17 her comment/opposition to the demurrer filed by Malaki, denying that she did not file the necessary documents as required by the court.
In fact, she said, she submitted the formal offer before the court on August 29 via mail.
Torrefranca asked the court to deny the demurrer to evidence filed by Malaki and to “render judgment as the accused waived his right to present his evidence in support of his defense for failure to file a leave.”
The RTC Branch 16 is yet to act on the demurrer.
Rape charges were filed against Mangudadatu and his cousin, known only as alias Puti, after prosecutor Juris Zozobrado found probable cause to hold them for court trial based on the affidavit executed by the complainant.
The co-accused has remained at large.
Mangudadatu voluntarily surrendered to the Regional Intelligence Unit Davao Region-Police Intelligence Group on December 20, 2011 at the dormitel where the rape incident allegedly happened. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 28, 2012.