DOJ denies Solano’s motion to trash evidence taken from frat library
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday, October 30, denied the motions of suspect John Paul Solano to trash certain evidence in the ongoing preliminary investigation on the hazing and murder of freshman law student Horacio Castillo III.
In a joint resolution, Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva denied for lack of merit Solano’s request to exclude from the case evidence taken from the sweep of the fraternity library on Laong Laan Street in Manila, where the hazing rites happened.
Villanueva also denied Solano’s request to strike from the record his first judicial affidavit to the Manila Police District (MPD) where he lied about being a stranger who only saw Castillo’s dead body dumped in Balut, Tondo.
Solano’s lawyer Paterno Esmaquel said this was expected and that they would file a motion for reconsideration.
Evidence from library search
On the evidence that the search of the frat library yielded, the prosecution panel said they do not have the authority to exclude it. Only the court, who issued the search warrant in the first place, can do that, said Villanueva.
Solano has a pending motion to quash before Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 53 to invalidate the MPD’s search warrant on the frat library.
Earlier, Branch 53 Judge Reynaldo Alhambra also denied Solano’s motion for him to inhibit in the quash case. Solano had alleged that Alhambra showed bias toward the MPD after the judge supposedly falsified documents.
Photos obtained by Rappler show the police found the paddle widely believed to have been used on Castillo.
The DOJ panel also refused to strike off the record Solano’s affidavit.
Solano’s camp wanted to get rid of it on grounds of it being falsified. Solano said an affidavit is considered official if it is subscribed and sworn to before an administering officer. But Solano said the affidavit didn’t bear the signature of administering officer Police Senior Inspector Rommel Anicete of the MPD.
Anicete said Solano’s copy does not have his signature because he (Solano) took photos of it before it was signed.
Villanueva said that Solano’s own admission that he lied in his first affidavit is precisely why he was accused of perjury.
“Solano’s arguments fail to persuade,” Villanueva said.
Solano had earlier told senators that it was Aegis Juris Grand Praefectus Arvin Balag who told him to lie to the police about finding Castillo in Tondo.
Balag is detained in the Senate after being held in contempt for not answering questions during a committee investigation. – Rappler.com