Former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) import Jamelle Cornley entered the not guilty plea before a Quezon City court as he waived the reading of the information on the alarm and scandal charge against him.
However, his arraignment for direct assault was deferred pending the resolution filed by Cornely’s lawyer Lino Dumas before Judge Maria Gilda Pangilinan of the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 31.
Dumas is appealing the court’s earlier ruling that junked their request to return the case to the city prosecutor’s office and order a preliminary investigation on the charges.
The case did not undergo preliminary investigation and was filed before the court following inquest proceedings on April 1.
Pangilinan, in her order, said the motion for preliminary investigation was filed late as the Rules of Court only allows respondents to ask for a probe within five days from the filing of the case in the court. The motion was filed on April 8.
She noted that preliminary investigations are required only in cases that are punishable with imprisonment of at least four years, two months, and one day.
But in his appeal, Dumas said they complied with the five-day rule even if the motion was filed seven days after the case was sent to the court saying the deadline, April 6, fell on a Saturday and that they filed the motion on the immediate working day after the said deadline.
And while the alarm and scandal charge is punishable with less than four years of imprisonment, Dumas said the case is different in the direct assault case.
He said his client may be imprisoned for four to six years in prison if he is convicted on the charge of assaulting a police officer.
The motion for reconsideration is set to be heard on June 21. The pre-trial is set on August 20. (Chito A. Chavez)