PNP wants Maguindanao Norte prosecutor out of slain cop's case

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

May 16, 2024, 6:33 pm

<p>PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo <em>(PNA photo by Lloyd Caliwan)</em></p>

PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo (PNA photo by Lloyd Caliwan)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has sought the inhibition of a Maguindanao del Norte prosecutor from the case involving the fatal shooting of a police captain in Parang town.

In a press briefing in Camp Crame on Thursday, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR), through its Legal Office, has filed an omnibus motion for inhibition against the prosecutor who ordered the release of two police officers implicated in the crime.

Fajardo said the PNP received information that the two suspects may be relatives of the prosecutor, whom she did not identify.

"We have reasonable ground to believe na meron (there is) conflict of interest because the prosecutor's spouse is possibly related by affinity to the two suspects and as a matter of rule, for prosecutors who hear cases, among the grounds for inhibition is if the public prosecutor is related by consanguinity or affinity with any party litigants,” she explained.

The case may be transferred to another city or even in Metro Manila, Fajardo said, adding that they are also studying the possibility of filing a case against the prosecutor before the Office of the Ombudsman.

She, meanwhile, said the two police officers, Master Sergeants Aladdin Ramalan and Shariff Balading, were declared as AWOL (absent without official leave) effective Thursday.

“Pinadalhan sila ng return-to-work order noong Monday at maliban doon ay may inalabas na order si RD (PRO BAR Regional Director) for the restrictive custody nitong dalawang pulis (They were issued a return-to-work order on Monday and aside from that, the RD has released an order to place the two police officers under restrictive custody) and yet they (have) failed to report. Based on our ating existing rules, after three days, any personnel who is required to physically report for work and failed to report would be declared AWOL,” Fajardo said, adding that they are monitoring the possible whereabouts of the two police officers.

She noted that the two cops would also face administrative charges and have surrendered their service firearms, which would undergo ballistic examinations to know if these were used in the incident.

Meanwhile, three other suspects remain at large.

Reports said the victim, Capt. Rolando Moralde, and his officers were on market chores at the town's public market on May 2 when he noticed a man with a pistol on his waist, later identified as Mohiden Untal.

Moralde confronted Untal but the suspect resisted and shot him. He also fired back and hit Untal.

The five suspects shot Moralde dead. They turned out to be Untal's relatives. (PNA)