The Regional Trial Court Branch 48 in Tagbilaran City postponed the arraignment of dismissed Police Supt. Ma. Cristina Nobleza for the case of illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives.
RTC Branch 48 Presiding Judge Jorge Cabalit moved the arraignment originally scheduled on August 25, to hear first the motion to dismiss and motion to quash information filed by Nobleza’s camp on August 18.
Nobleza is charged of violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act based on the confiscation by authorities of bomb-making materials inside the apartment that she rented while in Panglao in April.
Police and military personnel intercepted Nobleza, her alleged husband, Renoor Lou Dongon, together with Dongon’s mother and a minor at a checkpoint in barangay Bacani, Clarin on the night of April 22,
In the morning on April 24 personnel from the intelligence branch of the Bohol Police Provincial Office led by PSInsp. Jojit Mananquil and Panglao police team led by PSInsp. Jomar Pomarejos conducted a follow-up investigation at the apartment in barangay Looc, Panglao which Nobleza and company had rented before their arrest in Clarin.
The investigation led to the recovery of what appears to be a C4 detonating cord, blasting cap and blasting cap kit and personal belongings.
The Invesntory was conducted at Panglao police station, BPPO in the presence of Paulino Apduhan, owner of the apartment and barangay officials.
This prompted the police to file charges against Nobleza for illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives.
Nobleza, through her legal counsel, alleged that the her arrest was illegal.
Aside from the motion to dismiss and the motion to quash information, Nobleza also plans to request that she be allowed to have her eyes examined.
The court gave the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, through Deputy Provincial Prosecutor Eric Ucat, 10 days to respond to the motions filed by Nobleza.
Nobleza is also given 10 days to respond to the prosecution’s position.
Nobleza was brought to RTC Branch 48 in tight security, being considered as high-risk detainee of Camp Crame.
She was with her lawyer and escorts from the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
PRE-TRIAL ALSO MOVED
The 2nd Municipal Circuit Trial Court in Tubigon also postponed the pre-trial of the other case- -resistance and disobedience to persons in authority, and obstruction of justice- -filed against Nobleza and Dongon to October 24.
The pre-trial was originally scheduled on August 22, but 2nd MCTC Judge Erwin Ucat was on leave, according to the clerk of court, Golda Eftimov.
In the case, Prosecutor Margie-Tan-Alvaro represents the prosecution.
Nobleza and Dungon had been detained in Manila pending the filing of charges by the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Bohol.
They were arraigned for the case on June 6 where they pleaded not guilty.
Judge Ucat first set the arraignment on May 30 but the accused filed a motion for postponement to June 26, but the court set the date to June 6.
Nobleza and Dungon have been dragged in the infiltration of the Abu Sayyaf Group to Bohol after being suspected of having come with a mission to rescue the straggling ASG members.
On April 22, the composite police and military team manning the checkpoint along barangay Nahawan-Bacani area in Clarin flagged their vehicle at the height of the gunfight between Abu Sayyaf members led by Inabanga native, Joselito Melloria.
They were on board a black Nissan Navarra with plate number FGN 270.
They had been held then for questioning before being sent to Camp Crame for detention.
Dongon is tagged as one of the trained bomb makers of Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao, while Nobleza was the deputy chief of the Davao Region Crime Laboratory before she was dismissed after the incident.
Nobleza and company were believed to have passed through security checks in April when they came to Bohol by disguising as a family on tour.
They came with Dongon’s mother, an elderly woman whose children married ASG leaders such as Zulkifli Abdhir alias “Marwan,” Khadaffy Abubakar Janjalani, Abu Sulayman al-Muhajir and Ahmed Santos. A teenager who turned out to be Santos’ child was also with them.
Dongon has a pending murder case in Cagayan de Oro City.
Investigators believed that Nobleza and company might have passed through checkpoints and reached Bohol without being detected, but the tight blockage surrounding the encounter area in Clarin forced them in quandary for an exit in the effort to pick up the ASG stragglers.
Nobleza and company were already just 200 meters from the command center.
It was their desperation to get through the blockage at the height of firefight that forced them to evade the checkpoints which raised suspicion.
They were eventually flagged down and were interrogated at the police station the morning after.