• ‘Velarde’ asks arrest warrant shredded

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    BUSINESSMAN Jaime Dichaves is asking the Sandiganbayan to delay the issuance of his warrant of arrest as it is still premature to hand out the bench order.

    Through his lawyer Pacifico Agabin, the alleged “Jose Velarde” said that his name was only inserted in an October 2001 order of the Sandiganbayan Third Division after the Office of the Ombudsman manifested that “one of the John Does has been identified as Jaime Dichaves.”

    Citing the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, the defense stated that a defendant must be protected from injurious seizure of property or effects “except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination.”

    Agabin added that in Ho v. People, the “judge cannot rely solely on the report of the prosecutor in finding probable cause to justify the issuance of a warrant of arrest.”

    He said that, while it is true that the Ombudsman made sufficient findings in determining that the accused is guilty of the offense charged, “such finding is not binding upon the [Sandiganbayan].”

    “It [The court] must independently determine whether a warrant of arrest against him be issued or not,” Agabin wrote, citing High Court jurisprudence.

    For this, the defense urged the Sandiganbayan to deny the motion of the Ombudsman seeking the release of warrant of arrest against Dichaves.

    John Constantine G. Cordon

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