The court returns the charges against the community doctor
The court returns the charges against the community doctor

The court returns the charges against the community doctor

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The Charges of serious kidnapping and unlawful detention have been dismissed against community doctor Natividad “Natee” Castro and several others who were returned by the Buyugan Regional Court (RTC) in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a member of the active auxiliary Philippine military in December 2018.

This was after Executive Judge Ferdinand Villanueva overturned the order of March 25, 2022, of Judge Fernando Vodalan Jr., which dismissed the cases against Castro and others on the following grounds: denying the accused’s right to a fair trial; Due to lack of jurisdiction over the accused.

According to Villanueva, there was no “due process” denial as the prosecution conducted a preliminary investigation, and the court gained jurisdiction over her as she was arrested under the arrest warrant.

In the March 25 ruling, Fodalan noted that the attorney general who handled Castro’s cases had failed to issue a subpoena asking her to respond to the serious charges of kidnapping and unlawful detention brought against her.

The court noted that a subpoena directing the defendant to present evidence “is the most important aspect of the preliminary investigation that protects the right to a fair trial.”

The court also noted that Natividad had not been petitioned in the original complaint filed by the Philippine National Police. It noted that it was only included in the supplementary complaint.

In a decision dated March 25, the court said that the doctor’s involvement in the alleged kidnapping of Barnaby Salhai from the Philippine military’s civilian active aide in December 2018 was “unclear”.

Castro was arrested last February 18, 2022, accused of linking her to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as the alleged head of the health office.

The Human Rights Committee has expressed grave concern about the manner of Castro’s arrest.

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