The Department of Justice commended the Office of the City Prosecutor of Talisay City, Cebu (OCP - Talisay) for the conviction of a son of then-Talisay Mayor Socrates Fernandez and five other persons for two counts of Slight Illegal Detention.
The Mayor's son, Joavan, and co-accused were charged for abducting Osbert Abellana and his cousin Winston in August 2008 and depriving them of their liberty for about one hour. Joavan had suspected the Abellanas of involvement in the loss of his father's car's spare tire.
In a 15-page Judgment, the Cebu City Regional Trial Court - Branch 6 sentenced Joavan, Benideck Gabasa, Mark Perez, Teodoro Ligaray and two other minors to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of from nine years and four months to 16 years and five months for the kidnapping of Winston and from 12 years to 20 years for the abduction of Osbert.
Additionally, they were ordered to pay, jointly and severally, each of the Abellanas, P100,000 as moral damages; and Osbert, P50,000 as exemplary damages.
However, the sentences of the two minors were suspended pursuant to Section 38 of Republic Act 9344 (Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006).
Justice Secretary Emmanuel L. Caparas said "prosecutors of the OCP-Talisay vigorously pursued the case as they did in other cases filed before them, and this should be emulated by other OCPs as well."