Hostage-taker’s brother goes to higher court to seek relief
SENIOR Police Officer 2 Gregorio Mendoza, brother of slain hostage-taker former Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, has asked a higher court to nullify the proceedings on the serious disobedience case filed against him before the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MMTC) Branch 11.
Gregorio, through his Public Attorney’s Office lawyer, asked the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 16 to order MMTC Judge Ermin Ernest Louie Miguel to “cease and desist from further hearing” the criminal case he is facing.
At the same time, the lawyer asked the higher court to grant their motion to quash the case filed against him—a motion which Miguel had dismissed twice—and to nullify the MMTC judge’s rulings in court.
Gregorio filed his petitions on Tuesday with Manila RTC Branch 16 Judge Carmelita Manahan who ordered the lawyers of both parties to file their replies so that she could issue a ruling.
After the August 23 hostage taking at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office charged Gregorio before the MMTC with serious disobedience for entering the scene of the hostage crisis with a firearm.
Authorities also blamed him for provoking his brother who shot at the Hong Kong tourists he had taken hostage, killing eight of them.
On September 13, Gregorio filed a motion to quash the charges against him “on the grounds that the facts charged do not constitute an offense.” The motion was denied by the lower court on September 28.
He filed a motion for reconsideration on October 21 which was again dismissed on December 2.
The MMTC judge also issued an arrest warrant against Gregorio when he failed to show up for his arraignment scheduled on that day.
“Prosecutors were able to allege facts constituting a crime” based on the testimony of deputy hostage negotiator Chief Inspector Romeo Salvador and media coverage of the hostage taking, Miguel had said in his decision to dismiss Gregorio’s motions.
Gregorio’s arraignment before the lower court was set for February next year.
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