DOJ junks charges vs OFW found to have a bullet in her bag

By Perfecto T. Raymundo

MANILA, Nov. 12 (PNA) –The Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed Wednesday the criminal charges filed against a 56-year old Filipino worker overseas, who was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 after a bullet was allegedly found in her bag.

“A bullet is a harmless article without the corresponding gun or firearm to fire it,” Department of Justice (DOJ) Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Willy V. Chan said in a resolution dated Nov. 11, 2015.

In dismissing the case for violation of Republic Act No. 10591, or the “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act”, against Gloria Ortinez, DOJ Senior Asst. City Prosecutor Willy V. Chan said that while the bullet was recovered from Ortinez, the authorities failed to prove that she has the intention to possess the ammunition.

“There can be no conviction unless the prosecution shows that the accused knowingly possessed the prohibited articles in his person or that the animus possidendi (intent to possess or malevolent intent to use) is shown to be present together with his possession of such article,” the DOJ prosecutor said.

In this case, the prosecutor noted, Ortinez was a 56-year old overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), an old woman working for a greener pasture abroad, “there is no logical reason why she would possess the ammunition.”

The prosecutor added that the photograph of the ammunition for carbine rifle presented during the inquest proceeding of Ortinez was different from what was actually presented during the inquest “thereby casting doubt as to the identity of the subject ammunition.”

“Therefore, for lack of probable cause, the charge for violation of RA 10591 must necessary fail…to secure the innocent against hasty, malicious and oppressive prosecution…and to protect the State from having to conduct useless and expensive trials,” the resolution read.

Ortinez was arrested on Oct. 25, 2015 after an ammunition for carbine rifle was found inside her hand-carried bag. (PNA)