DAVAO CITY – Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) requesting the transfer of the case filed against human rights advocate Temogen Tulawie from Regional Trial Court (RTC) in this city to any RTC in Metro Manila.
Tan asked the SC to bring the legal war to a neutral ground in Metro Manila, where neither of the parties has a clear advantage and the parties are free from any threat and influence during the trial.
Executive Judge Pelagio Paguican of RTC branch 12 said Thursday that he received the copy of the petition, which also seeks for temporary restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary prohibitory mandatory injunction, at 11:30 a.m. on February 3.
Tan, in his petition, said since the SC granted the request of the respondent in transferring the venue of the hearing from Jolo to Davao City due to his alleged influence being the governor of the province, it is his turn to ask the SC to reassign the venue of the trial due to respondent's influence in Davao City.
Paguican said Tan's petition cited Tulawie’s influence on two Davao City-based non-government organizations, the Mindanao Peoples Caucus and the International Solidarity Conference.
Tan also said he would have a difficulty in going to Davao City since there are no daily flights at present from Zamboanga City. His work would be affected if he has to wait for air transportation every other day.
"This would affect public service," Tan said.
Tan also asked for a TRO from the SC to hold back Paguican from proceeding with the raffling of the cases among any regular court.
He also requested the SC to issue a writ of preliminary prohibitory mandatory injunction and direct Paguican to immediately issue the commitment order for the respondent to be detained at the Davao City Jail.
Tulawie is presently detained at the Davao City Police Office-Intelligence and Detection Management Branch.
But Paguican said he will still proceed with the raffling of the case to a regular court in Davao City as ordered by the SC.
He added the assigned court can still go on with the arraignment of Tulawie.
"Unless I get an order from Supreme Court to stop it," Paguican clarified, referring to the petition filed by Tan.
Paguican said the RTC Sulu already forwarded the case records of Tulawie to RTC Davao on January 31 but they are yet to receive it.
Tulawie, a suspect in the May 2009 bombing in Patikul, Sulu, has been charged with multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder, and a violation of Section 3, in relation to Section 3-C of Presidential Decree 1866, as amended by Republic Act 9516, or illegal possession of explosives used in the commission of crimes. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)