Valera seeks transfer from QC jail to NBI

September 20, 2009 11:20 am 

MANILA, Sept. 20 –Detained former Abra Governor Vicente Valera has asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to transfer him from the Quezon City (QC) Jail to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) detention cell while the case is pending trial.

In a motion, Valera’s lawyer Rolando Quimbo said Valera's continuous detention at the city jail has placed the former governor in a very dangerous and unsafe situation.

“There is an urgent and imminent necessity to immediately transfer my client in order to protect him from the threats he has received,” Quimbo said.

Quimbo said that considering the number of inmates at the city jail, the probability of prejudicial mishap upon the life and security of Valera greatly looms.

“On the other hand, the detention at the premises of the NBI is certainly more safe and secure,” Quimpo said.

Quimpo also said that the former governor was already of age and suffering from ill-health.

Quimbo cited one instance when, at the Philippine National Police, Valera complained of dizziness, and persistent headaches. At the clinic, Quimbo said the physician found the former Abra governor was suffering from high blood pressure.

Valera was charged with two counts of murder and frustrated murder for the 2006 shooting of Rep. Luis Bersamin Jr. in Quezon City.

The slain congressman is the brother of newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Lucas Bersamin. Justice Bersamin, before his appointment, was a trial judge in Quezon City and later associate justice of the Court of Appeals.

Valera was transferred from the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame to the Quezon City jail on Sept. 3, less than 48 hours after his arrest in his condominium unit in Rockwell, Makati City.

Valera’s affidavit cited the case of his co-accused Rufino Panday, Freddie Dupo and Sunny Taculao who continue to this day to be detained at Camp Crame and not at the city jail.

“Specifically, despite an earlier order from the court for the commitment of Panday to the city jail and despite a motion from him that such commitment order should be effected, he remains at the PNP custodial center,” Valera’s motion for transfer said.

“On the part of Dupo and Taculao, they definitely appear to be more physically capable than herein accused of coping with whatever imagined apprehensions are being imputed should they be detained at the city jail, yet they have also not been transferred to the city jail,” Valera’s affidavit further said.

Valera, through his counsel, has also asked Quezon City RTC Branch 216 Presiding Judge Ofelia Marquez to determine first whether or not probable cause exists on the murder and frustrated murder cases filed against him.

In his motion, the former governor said the court should now assume the function of reviewing his cases because the investigating prosecutor filed the information with the court without giving him the opportunity to first appeal to the Department of Justice.

“More so considering that under the Constitution, courts are mandated to conduct their own assessment of the evidence for the purpose of determining the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest," Valera said in the motion. (PNA)



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