Solano stays with Manila police one night more

Rambo Talabong
Solano stays with Manila police one night more
John Paul Solano stays longer with the Manila Police District (MPD) after the DOJ release order was delayed in delivery

MANILA, Philippines – John Paul Solano’s trip home has been delayed.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) may have ordered the release of the principal suspect and witness to the killing of Horacio Castillo III, but the release order did not reach the Manila Police District (MPD) on Tuesday, September 27.

Kung madedeliver yung order, [today] (If the order will be delivered today [he will be released today]). If not, tomorrow,” Paterno Esmaquel told reporters.

Asked later if he will be waiting for Solano’s release further, he said, “Bukas. Bukas na.” (Tomorrow. [We will release him] tomorrow.)

He later confirmed it to Rappler in a text message saying “Yes, sure na ‘yon, usapan namin (ng MPD) [tomorrow morning] (Yes, that is sure, we talked with the MPD to release him tomorrow morning),” he said.

Esmaquel then said he was saddened by the DOJ for the late delivery of the order, as he said he visited the department at 4:15 pm, just before offices closed.

Eh nanghihinayang lang ako kasi if it’s true na may order of release na nong nag-inquire kami noong 4:15 pm, sana binigyan na kami ng kopya don, but at any rate, nagpapasalamat kami sa DOJ,” he said.

(I am saddened that, if ever it’s true that there has already been an order at 4:15 pm, they could have given it to us, but at any rate, we are thankful to the DOJ.) 

This comes after Esmaquel contested the inquest of Solano which led to criminal charges and detention. Esmaquel earlier said surrenderees cannot be inquested. (READ: Indicted? Charged? A guide to court jargon)

Solano’s release does not mean he’s off the hook, however. He has been scheduled for a preliminary investigation on October 4 and 9 to ascertain charges to be filed against him. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.