A Kenyan faces lonely Christmas in Philippines jail
WITH no family and relatives to visit her in jail, it may be a lonely Christmas for Kenyan national Asha Atieno Oguto.
During the fifth day of the marathon hearing on her illegal drug trafficking case yesterday, Oguto cried when reporters asked her what she would do during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Asked what she wished for this Christmas, Oguto told reporters she is wishing for an immediate dismissal of her case so that she could go back to Kenya and see her family, particularly her two kids.
Oguto said that since the hearings on her case started, she has not heard from her family.
But despite two sad holidays ahead of her, an early Christmas gift came for Oguto after Lapu-Lapu City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 27 Judge Toribio Quiwag approved her lawyer’s motion to release about US$700, or about P30,372, back to her custody.
The money was allegedly confiscated by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) when Oguto was arrested for carrying three kilos of shabu inside the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) last Sept. 29.
Quiwag earlier approved the motion in Oguto’s favor as the money was not included in the case.
Asked what she would do with the money, Oguto said that she plans to pay her lawyer Rico Amores for the services she owed to him.
But Amores, in a separate interview, said he won’t accept Oguto’s money and will continue to represent her until the end of the proceedings.
Amores, however, said they will be asking the prosecution to clarify the whereabouts of Oguto’s remaining money of US$3,700 and 2,000 Qatari riyal.
Amores said Oguto was carrying that amount when she arrived in Cebu last September, but only US$700 came back to their custody.
During yesterday’s proceedings, the prosecution, represented by Lapu-Lapu City Fiscal Dinah Jane Portugal, made a formal offer of exhibits, regarding the evidences that they have so far.
Aside from the prosecution’s formal offer of exhibits, Quiwag denied Amores’s oral motion for leave of court to file a demurrer of evidence.
Amores told reporters that Quiwag denied their motion as he wants to hear the testimony of the defense’s witness.
During the next hearing on Dec. 14, Oguto will be presented as the only witness for the defense.
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