THE Manaig sisters who were earlier linked to the Fajardo criminal group are now out of jail after posting bail worth P36,000 each for obstruction of justice case on Tuesday, October 8.
On Thursday, October 3, the combined forces of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Northern Mindanao, Laguna Police, Special Action Force, Philippine Army, and Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) stormed the rented apartment of Marvin Fajardo, alleged leader of the criminal group, in Barangay Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro by virtue of an arrest warrant for direct assault.
Fajardo died in the operation while sisters Richelle and Irish Manaig were both in Fajardo’s house during the raid and tried to escape, but were intercepted by police.
Lawyer Rey Raagas, the legal counsel of the sisters, said the sisters shouldn’t have been included or arrested since they are not part of the criminal group, saying the two were caregivers of Fajardo and that they are paid for this job.
The City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the illegal possession of firearms and direct assault charges also filed against them.
Raagas said of the three charges filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Northern Mindanao, only the obstruction of justice case prospered.
“Gi-charge lang kunohay ug obstruction of justice kay ang tao nga ilang giubanan is fugitive of the law, pero caretakers ra man sila (They were charged with obstruction of justice because they were with a fugitive but they were only his caretakers),” Raagas said.
Still in trauma, he said the sisters are still hesitant whether they will file counter charges against the operating team.
But if the sisters decide not to pursue with a case, Raagas said he and other concerned lawyers will not hesitate to file either an administrative or civil case against the arresting officers.
“Ako ng warning sa ila, daghan mi abogado tabangan namo kay ang (This is my warning to them. There are a lot of us lawyers who will help since) operation is very suspicious and raises a lot of questions,” he said.
Raagas said he is still studying and evaluating the case, pointing out he will not back down “in the name of public interest for justice and the rule of law”.