TWO Cebu City judges have allowed Cebuano road rage suspect David Lim Jr. to travel abroad.
Regional Trial Court Judges Alexander Acosta and Rick Jones Macabaya both granted Lim's motion allowing him to join his family for a cruise tour from May 18 to June 8.
“A perusal of the record of the instant case would reveal that the prosecution has not prayed for the issuance of a hold departure order and the crime charged is not among those affects the interest of the national security, public safety, or public health,” read Acosta's order dated May 10.
In his order, Judge Macabaya found “no compelling reason to impair the accused's right to travel.”
“The behavior and actions of the accused do not show that he has the intent to travel abroad for the purpose of evading criminal prosecution,” read Macabaya's order.
Prosecution lawyer Mundlyn Misal-Martin filed the motions asking Acosta and Macabaya to reconsider their order and to issue a hold departure order.
Since the accused had not been arraigned yet, Martin, the lawyer of Ephraim Nuñal, argued that Lim's trip abroad “at will and for pleasure” would likely to put him beyond the reach of the courts.
The court should take into account that it took the “whole City of Cebu” to look for him via social media, the lawyer said.
“With the efforts of the Mayor of Cebu as well as other helpful individuals and personality, accused may perhaps be pressured to appear,” said Martin in the pleading.
Macabaya is trying Lim’s frustrated homicide case, while Acosta is handling the possession of illegal ammunition case.
Lim, through his lawyers Gilbert Viloria and Conrado Sarmiento Jr., told the court he wants to go abroad from May 26 to June 2.
Lim and his family booked a cruise to Alaska, the United States, and Vancouver, Canada, with the Royal Caribbean Cruise.
Lim wants to “travel and spend time with his family in these difficult times when he is facing unwarranted accusations, denunciations and even bullying,” the pleading reads.
Lim is facing criminal cases in court for shooting and wounding Ephraim Nuñal, a nurse, last March 19.
Lim was detained but was freed after posting bail. The bail amounted to P24,000 for the frustrated homicide case and P120,000 for the illegal possession of ammunition case.
In opposing Lim’s pleading, the prosecution said that Lim would be “beyond the reach of the courts” if he would be allowed to travel abroad.
Since the accused is yet to be arraigned, the prosecution suspected Lim’s intentions to travel outside the country.
“With his money and influence, it is possible that he is never going back to the country and face the allegations (against him),” they said. The prosecution believes that the accused has “no compelling reason” to travel abroad.
In the order, Acosta ordered Lim to post a P300,000 bond. He was also required to furnish the judge a photocopy of his passport.
Lim was also required to report to Acosta within three days upon his arrival in the Philippines after the trip. (SunStar Cebu)