BARANGAY 35 village chief Manuel Huelar of Bacolod City said on Monday, March 14, that the cases filed against him that has resulted in three warrants of arrest were politically-motivated.
The timing can be pointed to politics, he told reporters, adding that he believes there was somebody behind the complainants as they have no capacity to hire private lawyers.
He said he was trying to determine who was behind the complainants as well as their true motives. He said the cases “lacked merit.”
Huelar said he has evidence to prove his innocence.
The village chief said he was processing his bail, which includes P100,000 for a robbery charge and P180,000 for a carnapping charge.
Huelar said “somebody” tried to settle the cases with him. He refused, citing that agreeing to it would be a sign of guilt.
He added that the courts were able to issue warrants for his arrest due to the failure of his legal counsels to file his counter-affidavits.
On February 22, Judge Napoleon Diamante of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 3 issued arrest warrants for two counts of grave coercion and two counts of arbitrary detention. Bail was set at P12,000 for each grave coercion charge and P6,000 for each arbitrary detention charge.
Regional Trial Court Branch 54 Judge Eduardo Sayson also ordered the arrest of Huelar and three others – Buddy Magbanua, Bliss Operiano and Bonbon Huesna – on February 17 for robbery, with bail set at P100,000.
Warrants were also issued for Huelar and Magbanua for violation of Republic Act 6539 or the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972, with a bail of P180,000.
The criminal cases stemmed from the complaints filed by Susan, Mike, Jea Ann and Rolando Permano, and John Francis Lingco, against Huelar and the three others, alleging that they entered the residence of Mike Permano, without permission, on May 17, 2015 and took several items, including a motorcycle.
Huelar said the he only received the arrest warrants for robbery and carnapping.