A LOCAL court ordered two members of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) in Davao Region to pay fine or face imprisonment for an indirect contempt charge.

The three policemen allegedly prevented the court seizure of a car at the HPG compound here, last year.

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RTC Branch 17 Judge Florencia Abbu ordered Superintendent Gregorio Pimentel, Senior Police Officer 2 Arnold Sagabaen, and Police Officer 1 Eddie Maruhom to appear on her court on March 10 at 8:30 a.m.

The three were to confirm on the said date whether to pay the fine of P10,000 payable to RTC Cagayan de Oro City or be imprisoned for six months.

The court in the hearing of the motion for reconsideration found that the respondents were not assisted by their own counsel thus considered as a mere scrap of paper.

The respondents were further directed to bring and turn-over to the court the subject vehicle on the same date as mandated by an order last January 12.

Records showed that on October 12, 2009, the private complainants, Romulo and Lolita Bajada, filed a case of replevin after the HPG took into its custody the Toyota Fortuner with plate number YEH 301, which was parked at the vicinity of a mall in Ecoland.

The court issued a writ of replevin but was refused by the HPG. The writ of replevin is a court order commonly used to take property from an individual wrongfully in possession of it and return it to its rightful owner.

The court ruled that "the only thing defendants could have done was to obey the service of the writ because it is a lawful order and their adamant refusal and open defiance of a lawful court order constitute a contemptuous act".