Lawyer allegedly helped client escape
MANILA, Philippines – A Quezon City judge has filed a criminal complaint against a lawyer for allegedly helping his client escape immediately after the promulgation of the latter’s drug case.
Judge Ma. Theresa dela Torre-Yadao of the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 80, said Marcelino P. Arias violated Article 156 of the Revised Penal Code when he helped his client Rey Llanos avoid serving his sentence.
Under Article 156, a person may be imprisoned for helping a detainee escape.
In the complaint filed with the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday afternoon, Yadao said that on May 24 Llanos and Efren Mascarinas were convicted of drug peddling.
Both were sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of P500,000 each.
As the court personnel prepared the necessary commitment order for the transfer of the two to the Bureau of Corrections, Arias “led or escorted the said accused outside of the courtroom, taking advantage of the lapses of the court personnel and jail guards posted near the door.”
“Atty. Arias, who knew full well that accused Llanos was already under the custody of court after the cancellation of his bail, helped him escape and evade the service of his sentence,” Yadao said in her complaint.
The judge said she had issued a warrant for Llanos’ arrest.
Court clerk Segundina Fuertes said, in an attached affidavit, that she saw Arias, with his right arm around Llanos’ shoulder, walking toward the door.
Ronnie Jaboni, court process server, said he noticed that Llanos was no longer in the courtroom when he returned to his post.
“I rushed to the lobby of the justice hall and outside the building to look for him but he was no longer there,” Jaboni added in his affidavit.