• Court dumps Belmonte appeal

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    The Court of Appeals (CA) has turned down an appeal filed by a former representative of Quezon City in connection with the charges for illegal possession of firearms filed by the Philippine National Police against him and several others who were supposedly members of the Magdalo group.

    In an 11-page decision penned by Associate Justice Michael Elbinias and concurred in by Associate Justices Isaias Dicdican and Nina Antonio-Valenzuela, the CA’s 13th Division denied the petition for certiorari filed by lawyer Jose Christopher Belmonte which assailed the order of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City junking his motion to quash search warrant.

    Belmonte is the nephew of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.

    On July 7, 2006, the Intelligence and Security Group of the Philippine Army and the Police Anti-Crime Emergency Response Unit jointly implemented the search warrant issued by the QC RTC.

    Belmonte, First Lt. Sonny Sarmiento and First Lt. Angelbert Gay were arrested in Barangay Batasan Hills, QC and were charged before the court.

    This prompted Belmonte to ask CA to junk the search warrant.

    But the appeals court said the lower tribunal did not abuse its discretion when it denied Belmonte’s plea.

    “No cogent or compelling reason was therefore shown to justify deviation from these findings of respondent court . . .” the CA held.

    Jomar Canlas

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