THE Provincial Prosecutor's Office in Camiguin has inhibited from handling the criminal case filed by Cagayan de Oro based journalists against Camiguin Representative Jurdin Jesus Romualdo.

Camiguin Provincial Prosecutor Alma Concepcion-Pareño said she decided to inhibit herself and the entire office from handling the case in response to Regional State Prosecutor Jaime Umpa's order.

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Umpa has ordered for the transfer and tapped Assistant Regional State Prosecutor Eldrid Cole to head the three-man panel that would handle the case.

Pareño said she had already forwarded all documents related to the case to Umpa.

"I received the documents on Monday and handed the record to Cole," Umpa told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro via phone.

Earlier, Herbert Hugo Dumaguing, 43, and his son Hubert requested Umpa to transfer the case from Camiguin to Cagayan de Oro for fear of political whitewash.

The Dumaguings and two other media practitioners from Cagayan de Oro had accused Romualdo of mauling them during their coverage in the May 10 elections in Camiguin.

Under Republic Act 10071, Umpa emphasized that the regional state prosecutor has the power to take over a case when one party questions impartiality in the conduct of preliminary investigation.

He said the panel has yet to decide on whether or not to conduct another preliminary investigation.

As of this posting, Umpa said the panel is now examining the records of the case, including the counter-affidavit of the respondents. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)