OZAMIZ CITY—The Regional Trial Court Branch 15 has denied the petition of both Vice Mayor Nova Princess Echavez and Reynaldo “Dodo” Parojinog Jr. to allow them to attend the wake and burial of their parents, Mayor Reynaldo Sr. and mother Susan, uncle Octavio Jr. and aunt Mona, who were killed in a raid conducted by the police last July 30.
An Extremely Urgent Motion for Furlough was submitted by the Parojinog siblings asking the court for permission that they be allowed to attend the last day of the wake on Aug. 13 and will be followed by the burial on Aug. 14.
Both accused said they will cope with all the needed expenses including airfare and lodging that will be incurred by their police escorts and jail guards while attending the wake and burial of their parents and family members.
“In the spirit of compassion and humanity, the accused humbly begs for furlough from this Honorable Court to allow (them) to join (their) remaining family members in Ozamiz City to grieve, pay their last respects, and bid goodbye to the accused’s departed parents and loved ones,” the Parojinog siblings said in their petition.
Echavez faces a case for Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
Brother Dodo is facing three counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. He is also facing a separate case for illegal possession of explosives under RA 9516 and possession of dangerous drugs under RA 9165.
Both were arrested in a simultaneous raids conducted by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).
In a document forwarded to The Philippine Preview by Expedita Roxas of the Mindanaoan Broadcasting Channel (MBC), it detailed the three-page decision penned by Judge Edmundo Pintac.
The court document, dated Aug. 11 said Pintac invited the Chief of Police to show the court it’s evaluation to the safety and security condition of the city.
The PNP office, citing confidential classified intelligence report, strongly suggested that a “daring and bloody rescue of the accused be carried out if allowed furlough.”
“The court chooses the path of caution and gives amount of the police more especially that of the Ozamiz City police, heretofore narrated as it is in the better if not the best position to the same it being equipped with the necessary means and resources,” Pintac said.
“Additionally the Court takes notice of the high emotions high between people who are sympathizers to the accused and the people who are against them,” he added.
“The Court is overly concerned for good reason that the presence of the accused would provide the spark that would ignite and cause those emotions to erupt and for the opposing side to the violent and clash against each other thereby endangering the security and safety of the accused.”
Meanwhile, in a report by GMA News yesterday, Echavez and her brother is said to have turned to PNP Chief Director Ronald dela Rosa after the court denied their request to seek furlough to attend the wake and funeral of their parents.
"Nanawagan po kami magkapatid kay PDG Ronald dela Rosa na tulungan kami na maka punta makita sa huli pagkakataon ang aming Papa at Mama kahit sa huling araw nang lamay nang parents namin," according to a hand written note bearing the names of Echavez and her brother Reynaldo Jr.
The written request was made public after the court denied the siblings' bid for a two-day pass to attend the last night of the vigil and funeral of their father parents.
Echavez and brother Dodo said they both expressed sadness over the court's decision over what they say is the last chance to see their parents. (MICHAEL MEDINA)