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Cop turned judge acquits two bombing suspects

Jaime Santiago
Judge Jaime 'Jimmy' Santiago in his sala as he acquits two suspected bombers.(JERRY S. TAN)

A Manila Regional Trial Court judge acquitted two accused in a planned bombing attack in Manila way back 2000.

In his 59-page decision, Judge Jaime Santiago of the MRTC Branch 3 also ordered the release of accused Alvin Kadil alias ‘Sinbad’ and Remedios Habin.

Santiago also directed the return of the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) said to be owned by the Habins and which were previously confiscated following their arrest on January 5, 2020.

In his decision, Santiago said that the police failed to prove that the accused were the owners of the seized ingredients for explosives such as claymore mine and detonating cords, as well as of the confiscated grenades and guns.

Judge Santiago said that what happened was a “fishing expedition” where the police did not have an appropriate warrant.

He also noted that it took five hours from placing the accused under arrest before a search was done by the SOCO in the suspects’ vehicle. The explosives ordnance division on the other hand, did its inspection three hours later of the SUV where the components for making bombs were supposedly found.

Santiago added that the search of the vehicle was not done in the presence of the arrested suspects.

The arresting officers, according to Santiago, also admitted that accused Remedios Habin was not included in their case operation (Coplan Pentos).

“They also did not present their COPLAN Pentos to prove the connection or membership of the other accused in the BIFF,” he said.

Santiago, known for being a ‘sharpshooter,’ also used to be a top cop of the then Western Police District.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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