Satur to be arrested again

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — A TOP Palace official yesterday said Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo could be arrested again and his bail canceled once state prosecutors corrected the “infirmities” in the multiple murder cases filed against him.

Reacting to Ocampo’s release yesterday, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera informed him that state lawyers had already corrected one of the flaws that the Supreme Court cited when it allowed the leftist lawmaker to post bail.

The Court had asked why only one case was filed against Ocampo when there were supposed to be 15 counts of murder.

As a result, Ermita said, state prosecutors promptly filed 14 other murder charges before Judge Ephrem Abando of the regional trial court in Hilongos, Leyte.

“We can only go by the report of Devanadera and whatever infirmities there may be are not uncorrectable,” Ermita said.

Devanadera said the Supreme Court’s order to release Ocampo could be seen as a setback, but she contested the lawmaker’s assertion that the state’s case was weak.

“The government scored a victory… despite the ruling of the Supreme Court,” she said in an official statement released through Malacañang.

She said the release order did not in any way void the warrant of arrest that Abando issued, and nor did it result in a dismissal of the case.

“The Supreme Court merely suspended the warrant of arrest issued against Ocampo and allowed his release upon posting a bond of P100,000,” Devanadera said.

While expressing disappointment over the ruling, Ermita said it was important that the rule of law be observed.

“As a government official, we respect the decision of the Supreme Court. We go by the rule of law. We go by what should be done,” he said.