Solon tagged in Magdalo case loses appeal

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THE Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed an appeal filed by a representative of Quezon City arising from the charges for illegal possession of firearms filed against him and some suspected members of the Magdalo group.

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In a May 9, 2014 resolution 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 motion for reconsideration filed by lawyer Jose Christopher Belmonte assailing the order of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City junking his motion to quash search warrant.

Belmonte, a nephew of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, filed a petition for certiorari but was earlier dismissed, prompting him to lodge his motion.

On July 7, 2006, the Intelligence and Security Group of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Anti-Crime Emergency Response Unit jointly implemented the search warrant issued by Judge Rosanna Fe Romero-Maglaya against Belmonte, et al.

The authorities also raided a purported safe house of the Magdalo soldiers at 34 Adler Street, Filinvest II in the city.

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

Army First Lieutenant Patricio Bumidang; Second Lieutenant Aldrin Baldonado; Army Capt. Nathaniel Rabonza; and Navy Lieutenant Senior Grade Kiram Badava were arrested during the operation, while one Michael Yangson was also apprehended.

Because of this, Belmonte asked the CA to junk the search warrant.

The incumbent congressman of Quezon City’s sixth district also questioned the Quezon City court ruling junking his motion to quash a search warrant against them.

However, the appeals tribunal pointed out that the RTC did not abuse its discretion when it denied his plea.

“A reading of petitioner’s motion for reconsideration show that the arguments raised by petitioner had already been considered and passed upon by us when we rendered the decision dated October 24, 2013 that is sought to be reconsidered,” the CA said. “[N]o cogent resons were found to justify the modification or reversal of our decision, which, by this opportunity, has also been reviewed to have had proper and reasonable bases.”

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