In an interview with Punto, prosecutor Mark Oliver Sison said the report on the incident could be relevant to the main case of illegal possession of marijuana and for resisting arrest here last Oct. 3. He said, however, that the case was never brought to his attention.
A source from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) here, who asked not to be quoted for lack of authority to give information on the incident, said that after Fernandez was transferred from Police Station 5 to the Angeles City District Jail, he asked for a haircutter purportedly for a haircut. He grabbed the scissors while having his haircut and tried to slash his wrist, and then pointed the scissors at other inmates who tried to pacify him. A bandage on his wrist was later explained as injury allegedly sustained during a basketball game in jail.
Sison said he initially dismissed the suicide report as mere rumor, but that he would now investigate it.
The transfer of Fernandez to the provincial jail was ordered by RTC Branch 60 Judge Eda Era who later inhibited herself from the case, saying that her husband belonged to the same Guardians Brotherhood that Fernandez also belonged to. Era denied yesterday a request for interview.
The case was re-raffled and landed in the sala of TRC Branch 58 judge Meredith Malig who slated the arraignment on Nov. 8.
Documents from RTC revealed that the prosecution had moved for the inhibition of Era from the case, as it questioned the apparent haste with which Fernandez’s case was handled since his arrest, as it also questioned the propriety of the visit of Era’s husband to Fernandez two days later. It noted that Fernandez was arrested on Oct. 3, held for inquest on Oct. 4 and visited by Era’s husband on Oct. 5. It also noted that on Oct. 6, the case for possession of illegal drugs paraphernalia was dismissed and, on the same day, he was set for arraignment. The date for arraignment is ordinarily set at least a month after the arrest of a suspect in such cases, said an employee at the RTC records section. The arraignment set by Era, however, was later postponed.
Sison said the prosecution still has a pending petition for reconsideration of the dismissed case of possession of a marijuana grinder. The case was dismissed since the police failed to list up the grinder among the items confiscated from Fernandez when he was arrested.
On the other hand, the camp of Fernandez filed a motion for reinvestigation on the marijuana case. Sison said it’s up to the court to decide whether there would be some technical grounds for dismissal of the case amid the argument of the defense that Fernandez was deprived of legal counsel during his arrest and his presentation before media without any lawyer at a press conference at Camp Olivas.
“What we have established is that there is probable cause for the filing of the case,” Sison said.