Lawyer insists case vs NDF leader’s son should be reinvestigated

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/28 August) – The legal counsel of the son of National Democratic Front spokesperson Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos is set to file a motion for reconsideration today after the court denied their petition on Friday last week calling for a reinvestigation and lifting of a warrant of arrest against his son.

Lawyer Alfonso S. Casurra said they will exhaust all legal remedies to obtain a favorable ruling for Vincent Isagani R. Madlos, only son of Ka Oris and Ka Maria Malaya, for destructive arson and robbery.

“We hope the court understand our predicament and our situation. To my mind there is no harm if the court will just remand it back to the prosecutor as that is something provided in the rules,” Casurra said.

Vincent Isagani was charged together with his father for destructive arson in relation to the burning of Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC) on October 3, 2011 by the New People’s Army (NPA). On August 6, Branch 32 of the Regional Trial Court here issued the warrant of arrest against Madlos’ 32-year old son.

Casurra said they filed a petition last week to suspend the warrant since the prosecution filed the case solely on the basis of statements by witnesses presented by PGMC.

“We are asking the court to have a second look that principally our motion was anchored on the fact that we were not given the right to participate in the preliminary investigation,” he said, adding he is willing to bring his client in court if the case against Ka Oris’ son is suspended and the warrant lifted.

The lawyer said it was stupid of the police to demand that his client present himself in court and be jailed without bail while the issue of his identity [as a suspect] is being resolved.

He reiterated that the issue in the first place was one-sided.

Casurra appealed for fairness by allowing the younger Madlos to respond to the charges.

He also added that the witnesses presented by PGMC have already retracted their story and “said among others that they did not sign any document to pinpoint persons or personalities. They only said they saw armed men but never telling or describing names.”

In denying the petition, Judge Dan R. Calderon said: “It appears movant Vincent Isagani R. Madlos is not the accused Isagani Madlos in this case.”

Vincent and Isagani

Casurra maintained that Vincent Isagani and Isagani is one and the same person based on the accounts of witnesses and the facts leading to his being named as one of the leaders of the Oct. 3 NPA attack on mining firms in Claver, Surigao del Norte.

He pointed out that the warrant was immediately served in Cebu where Vincent Isagani worked as a call center agent.

“Therefore the fact remains they are really looking for that son,” he said.

Vincent Isagani resigned from his job sometime late last year after learning of the cases against him.

Casurra also voiced fears for his client’s safety, as the court “does not have any control of people who will be serving it [warrant] and that is really dangerous”.

Asked about the whereabouts of his client, Casurra said “he is now hiding.”

He added that murder and multiple frustrated murder cases have been filed too against Vincent Isagani, this time in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur in relation to an NPA raid on July 21 this year. The cases are pending at the provincial prosecutor’s office.

“This time the name of the respondent is already complete. Apparently this is taken from the cue of the first case,” he said.

The respondents in the Claver attack were the same respondents listed in the Bunawan incident, Casurra noted.

“Whether this is political persecution, we still do not know about it. The reasonable conclusion will point out that ultimately this is a calculated move on the part of government against Jorge Madlos, this time to include his son,” he said.

Senior Inspector Jerson Soliven, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group provincial director said in a radio interview that despite Madlos’ petition and Ka Oris’ warnings against the judge handling the case and Gov. Sol F. Matugas that were aired over a local radio station they will comply with the Aug. 6 order.

“There is nothing personal about this. We hope the people will also understand us. Trabaho lang po eto, (We’re just doing our job)” Soliven said. (Vanessa Almeda/MindaNews)