DOJ asks Batanes court to arrest Coast Guard official
MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the Batanes Regional Trial Court to order the arrest of a Philippine Coast Guard official charged in the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman for his failure to appear during Monday’s hearing.
Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera said they sought the arrest of Arnold Enrique dela Cruz for his failure to show up in court.
Dela Cruz led the team charged in the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman after a sea chase off the coast of Balintang Channel in May last year. His lawyer, Ernesto Cabrera, also failed to attend the hearing.
“We ask for the issuance of a warrant against Commanding Officer Dela Cruz after he failed to show up for the hearing and also for the court to issue a show cause order to his lawyer,” Navera said in a phone interview.
Dela Cruz already pleaded not guilty last July to the homicide charges filed against him and seven other Coast Guard personnel for the death of Hung Shi Cheng.
Navera said Batanes RTC Judge Ramon Barona is set to resolve his oral manifestation on the issuance of warrant and show cause order on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the court arraigned Seaman 1st Class Edrando Quiapo Aguila on the same charges Monday.
Aguila was not arraigned last September when his co-accused—Seamen1st Class Mhelvin Aguilar Bendo II, Andy Gibb Ronario Golfo, Sunny Galang Masangkay and Henry Baco, SN2 Nickey Reynolds Aurelio and PO2 Richard Corpuz—were arraigned as he attended the funeral of a relative in Manila.
Navera said the court entered a not guilty plea for Aguila after he did not enter a plea when he was arraigned.
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