MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Charges of illegal possession of firearms and drugs were filed against Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog and her brother Reynaldo Parojinog Jr before the Ozamiz City Regional Trial Court (RTC) on Friday morning, August 4, said the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Reynaldo Jr was also charged with illegal possession of explosives.
The siblings’ drug charges, for violation of Section 11 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act or the possession of dangerous drugs, has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Under criminal procedures, “no person charged with an offense punishable by life imprisonment” can post bail. (READ: TIMELINE: Parojinog, from Duterte’s narco list to a bloody raid)
Specifically, Reynaldo Jr faces charges of:
- Violation of Section 28 of Republic Act No. 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act)
- Violation of Section 1 of Republic Act No. 9516 (An Act Amending Presidential Decree No. 1866 on the Unlawful Manufacture, Sales, Acquisition, Disposition, Importation or Possession of an Explosive or Incendiary Device)
- Violation of Section 11 of Republic Act No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act)
Nova faces charges of:
- Violation of Section 28 of RA 10591
- Violation of Section 11 of RA 9165
In its indictment of the siblings, the DOJ also ruled that it is not illegal for the police to detain the Parojinogs even after the 36-hour prescribed period has lapsed.
Under the Revised Penal Code, authorities have 36 hours to hold individuals until they initiate the proper judicial process. That, however, did not happen because the Parojinog siblings only underwent inquest proceedings on Tuesday, August 1. They were arrested in a raid in Ozamiz City last Sunday, July 30, where their parents – Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and his wife Susan – as well as 13 others were killed.
The DOJ said the police are excused from the 36-hour rule due to extraordinary circumstances.
“After considering the arguments of both parties, we ruled that the delay in bringing the respondents for inquest proceedings was excusable because of the factually unique circumstances,” the resolution said.
The Parojinogs’ lawyer Lawrence Carim earlier questioned the siblings’ detention in Camp Crame in the absence of a court order.
In the DOJ’s resolution, the panel said “the arrest of the respondents was valid since the same was incidental to the lawful service of a valid search warrant.”
The DOJ also explained that even though the search warrant was for firearms and ammunition, the police were not precluded from seizing other unlawful items. Cops had found drugs and drug paraphernalia that became the basis for the siblings’ arrest.
“Under the plain view doctrine, objects falling in the ‘plain view’ of an officer who has a right to be in a position to have that view, are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence,” the resolution stated. (READ: The Parojinogs and the tangled webs they wove)
The siblings’ lead legal counsel, Ferdinand Topacio, has not responded to a request for comment as of posting time. – Rappler.com