Rape Murder Case Saga in Panglao Island

     The counsel for a witness who have instead been charged for the rape-slay of Vivian Dumaluan has cited the lack of due process in the filing of the case for rape with homicide against Alex Dasco.

      Lawyer Menedio Thadeus Bernido filed two motions in a bid to stay the filing of the case against Dasco.

      Bernido filed a motion to defer further proceedings with manifestation and an ex-parte motion to recall information.

      In the first motion, Bernido said the Bohol Provincial Prosecutor's Office through the majority members of the panel of prosecutors has not yet resolved the motion for reconsideration dated and filed on Aug. 1.

      If they have been resolved, Bernido said they have neither furnished Dasco nor his counsel a copy of the resolution.

      Bernido also pointed out that there was no preliminary investigation conducted on Dasco prior to the filing of the information for rape with homicide.

      The motion said that without having resolved first the motion for reconsideration or if they have resolved it, they did not furnish Dasco or his counsel a copy, the majority panel of prosecutors "did not only commit grave abuse of discretion but also denied (Dasco) of his constitutional right to due process."

      Bernido pointed out that preliminary investigation is required before an information for an offense where the penalty prescribed by law is at least four years, two months and one day without regard to fine.

      He noted that Dasco is charged with a heinous crime where the penalty prescribed by law is death (although it cannot be imposed now) which is much higher than the imprisonment of four years, two months and one day.

      "There is no question therefore that Dasco should have been afforded a preliminary investigation before the information for Rape with Homicide was filed against him," the motion stressed.

      In filing the motion to recall information, Bernido said the right to have a preliminary investigation conducted before being bound over to trial and formally at risk of information "is not a mere formal or technical right".

      The lawyer stressed that "it is a substantive right".

      "To deny petitioner's claim to a preliminary investigation would be to deprive him of the full measure of his right to due process," the motion noted.