Philippine judiciary

Courts junk murder cases vs elderly man mistaken for fugitive

Jairo Bolledo

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Courts junk murder cases vs elderly man mistaken for fugitive
Mohammad Maca-Antal Said has been detained for over a month after he was mistaken for a fugitive with a similar name

MANILA, Philippines – Taguig courts have junked the murder cases against an elderly man from Lanao de Norte whom Senator Robin Padilla had earlier defended as a victim of mistaken identity, the senator’s office said.

Padilla said in a statement that Taguig City Regional Trial Court Branches 271 and 153 granted the motion to dismiss the case of 62-year-old Mohammad Maca-Antal Said, as well as the motion to release him. He was charged with frustrated murder at Branch 271, and frustrated murder and murder at Branch 153.

Padilla said, however that Said could not be released yet because there were two more hearings scheduled in courts.

Padilla earlier highlighted the case of Said, saying the Lanao del Norte native had been jailed for more than a month after he was mistaken for a fugitive. On August 10, Said was heading for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when immigration authorities held him due to an “alert” on his name.

There were nine warrants of arrest issued against a certain Mohammad Said also known as Maas, but Padilla said he just happened to have the same name as the elderly man. Padilla also cited reports of Maas’ death during a 2016 military operation in Sulu.

Padilla had called the case of mistaken identity not only “unjust and inhumane” but also “unacceptable,” given all the advances in technology. – Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.