POLICE arrested Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro after she allegedly attacked the rumored live-in girlfriend of her estranged husband Leodegreco Sanchez inside a police office.
The incident happened Monday night at the headquarters of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7.
Castro, who is no stranger to controversies, allegedly hurt Maricel Raffinan Gregory and some police officers of Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG), a unit under the Regional Intelligence Division (RID).
Castro has sued Gregory for libel and Gregory had turned herself in to RSOG upon learning about an arrest warrant has been issued against her.
“What (Castro) did to us was too much,” said Supt. Rex Derilo, RID acting chief. “She came inside the office. She was accusing the police of hiding (Gregory).”
Castro, 47, allegedly hired four men to destroy the door jamb of the RSOG office.
“Our police officers, last night, were on a very high level of tolerance and patience. Grabe ang pagpailob, to the point nga nasaktan ang police. Okay lang. Kon iyang naguba ang properties, ang door, okay lang. Pagpasakit sa piniriso, too much na pud,” Derilo said.
Castro bit the left forearm of Senior Insp. Ruel Burlat.
Gregory, who is four-months pregnant, had surrendered to RSOG personnel, after she learned that Talisay City Regional Trial Court Branch 65 Judge Glenda Go has released an arrest warrant against her for four counts of cyber libel cases filed by Castro.
Meanwhile, the police filed on Tuesday, March 8, complaints of direct assault, malicious mischief, grave coercion, grave oral defamation, and resistance and disobedience to persons in authority against Castro.
Also, six of Castro’s alleged cohorts are facing complaints of direct assault as well as disobedience and resistance to persons in authority.
These were filed at around 5 p.m. at the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor.
Due to time constraints, State Prosecutor Simaco Labata decided to continue the inquest proceedings at 10 a.m. today.
Castro said she had difficulty in breathing inside the police detention cell and requested earlier Tuesday that she be taken to the Cebu City Medical Center.
She was seen being carried by police officers at past 4 p.m. from their patrol to Labata’s office at the Capitol compound.
Labata allowed the police to bring Castro back to the Fuente Police Station, where she was detained.
He also reminded the police that they should be held responsible for whatever happens to Castro, who claimed that she was not feeling well during the inquest proceedings.
Derilo said they may lodge administrative complaints against Castro before the Department of Justice.
Castro, for her part, is planning to file complaints against the police officers, who are represented by lawyer Inocencio de la Cerna Jr.
The cases against Gregory reportedly stemmed from her posts on Facebook last October, accusing Castro of stealing Greco’s vehicle.
Sanchez, 46, and Gregory, a native of Nueva Ecija, reportedly lived together after his relationship with Castro had turned sour.
On August 18 last year, Sanchez and Castro married in private Muslim rites at Harolds Hotel in Cebu City. “You cannot really predict destiny. If the two of you are really meant to be, then you are meant to be,” Castro said of her marriage to Sanchez in a Sun.Star Cebu report on August 21, 2015.
Gregory already has two children with Greco, aged two and five years old as of August 2015, and is pregnant with their third. Gregory’s age was not ascertained Tuesday but she once said on her Facebook account that her mother is Castro’s age.
Sanchez is the son of the late Gregorio Sanchez Jr. who had served as vice governor of Cebu, and the brother of Provincial Board Member Grecilda Sanchez, who is seeking a congressional seat in the third district against incumbent Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia.
‘Ako legal wife’
In a CCTN report, Castro said she has filed a concubinage complaint against Gregory.
“Dili sila married, ako ang legal wife,” she said.
Castro said she has the right to confront Gregory because she, Castro, is still married to Greco.
Before the commotion happened last Monday afternoon, a team of RSOG personnel fetched Gregory at the Crown Regency Hotel in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City.
Derilo said Castro brought along with her members of the Talisay City Police Station to serve an arrest warrant to the RSOG office, but they failed.
The police official said they have jurisdiction over Gregory because any officer can serve the warrant as long as he has a copy of the warrant.
He said they did not place Gregory in a regular detention cell because she is pregnant and she has brought her two children with her.
He said it is also their responsibility to protect their detainees from unlawful acts, especially in this situation where the woman is pregnant.
A police officer, not with RSOG, had informed Castro that Gregory has been arrested by RSOG.
What Castro did
When Castro arrived at the RSOG office at past 6 p.m., Gregory hid in the office of the RSOG chief and locked the door.
Castro kept on kicking the door and pounding on the glass panel of the office. Failing to gain entry, she went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and tried to destroy the doorknob with it.
Castro eventually was able to confront Gregory and she cursed the pregnant woman in the presence of her two children.
She then allegedly pulled Gregory’s hair and hit her several times. Castro then pulled the arm of Gregory who lost grip of her child, who fell on the floor.
“Pag aksiyon nako og aresto...iyang gikalit og kuha akong kamot, iyang gipaak (When I tried to arrest her, she pulled my hand and bit me),” said Burlat.
Burlat said said Castro called them dumb and useless. They offered her water and food, but Castro refused both.
“Arogante kaayo siya,” he said.
Castro allegedly raised her voice when she talked to the police and asked for a copy of the arrest warrant, which the RSOG presented to her.
Castro left the RSOG office around 7 p.m. She later returned at 10 p.m., bringing along with her Jonas Borces Niñez, 30; Leo Esquivel Suaso, 42; William Segundino Contamina, 27; Benjielito Hoyoa Lapera, 29; Gaudiosa Arivado Rodrigo, 53; and Hazel Niluag Mabuuyo, 39.
Derilo believes that these people did not know why she had brought them with her.
Castro instructed the four men to destroy the padlock of the door of the RSOG, so she could take Gregory and transfer her to the Talisay City Police Station.
For his part, Contamina said they did not know Castro would bring them to Camp Sergio Osmeña, the home of PRO 7, in Cebu City.
“Na blind lagi mi. Wa na koy respeto niya (We did not know. I have lost my respect for her),” he said.
Castro allegedly had enticed them to ride in her vehicle because she would treat them to dinner and pay them for a task she refused to reveal.
The four men said they got neither payment nor dinner.
They asked Castro to pay for their bail, because they do not have enough money.
Castro allegedly recruited the six persons in a subdivision, where she is the president of the homeowners’ association, in Barangay Maghaway, Talisay City.
Suaso, a security guard of the subdivision, said he regretted coming along with Castro.
“Karon nga nahimutang mi ingon ani nga sitwasyon, ang among pamilya ang luoy kaayo. Maong manghinaot mi nga kon makapiyansa ka namo aron makagawas mi diri. Akong trabaho na-pending na...Ang panginahanglanon sa akong mga anak, pagkaon sa among mga anak, asa na man namo kuhaon nga naa man mi diri (Now that we are in this state, our family will suffer. So, we hope that she will bail us out. Our jobs are now left pending. How will we feed our children)?” said Labura.
Niñez said he is dismayed at Castro’s actions.