Ex-judge faces charge for obstructing justice

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THE Office of the Ombudsman has found ground to file a charge of obstruction of justice before the Sandiganbayan against former presiding Judge Baguinda-Ali Pacalna of the Municipal Trial Court in Balindong, Lanao del Sur.

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Without a court order, Pacalna allegedly took custody of a certain Menor Saud who was arrested by the police in 2007 and detained at the Marawi City Jail.

“Judge Pacalna went to the city jail and took custody of Saud despite objection of the police officers,” the office said in a statement.

The Ombudsman issued a resolution stating that the former judge’s act was “laced with undue influence upon the jail warden to allow the unlawful release of a detainee.”

The anti-graft body stressed that a detainee may only be released upon order of a competent court, either through recognizance or by posting a bond.

Saud, who had a firearm in his possession, had an outstanding arrest warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Sur after he allegedly stole a car.

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