By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) concluded on Monday its preliminary investigation (PI) over the complaints against Sagay City police officials and the father of the 14-year-old survivor of the so-called 2018 Sagay massacre.
“Kanina yung pinakahuling setting ng PI (That was the last setting of the preliminary investigation),” said National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) spokesperson lawyer Josalyn Deinla.
Prosecution Attorney Roxanne Cu submitted the case for resolution since the complaint was filed last December 4 by NUPL lawyers on behalf of the boy’s mother identified only as “Lorna”.
In the complaint, Lorna accused her estranged common-law husband Vic Pedaso of psychological violence in violation of Section 5 of Republic Act (RA) 9262, also known as the Violence Against Women and Children Act.
Pedaso is also accused along with three police officials–Sagay City police Chief Insp. Robert Mansueto, SPO1 Julie Ann Diaz, and PO Christine Magpusaw–of violating RA 7610, also known as the Anti-Child Abuse Law, as well as for violating Supreme Court (SC) rules on the handling of child witnesses.
Deinla disclosed that during the closed-door hearing on Monday, Cu decided to forego with the scheduled clarificatory hearing.
“Instead nagsumite ng lang ng rejoinder-affidavit yung mga respondents (the respondents submitted rejoinder-affidavits),” Deinla noted.
Lorna filed the complaint after she was allegedly being forced by Pedaso and police to hand over her son identified only as “Lester.”
NUPL lawyer Katherine Panguban, Lorna’s legal counsel, previously explained Lester was being forced to become a prime witness in the October 20, 2018 massacre in Hacienda Nene in Sagay City, Negros Occidental where nine members National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) were slain by still unidentified suspects.
Panguban said Lester has already repeatedly said that he could not identify who are the suspects since it was dark when the incident took place.
Meanwhile, Panguban is facing a criminal complaint of kidnapping and serious illegal detention for allegedly taking Lester.
Panguban expects the complaint against her to be dismissed since it was Lorna who sought refuge with the NUPL.