Prosecutor recalls getting choked by convict using handcuffs

Posted at 02/27/2014 8:33 PM | Updated as of 02/27/2014 8:33 PM

MANILA - Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon on Thursday recounted how he was choked and injured by a convict using handcuffs.

Fadullon was with Onofre Surat Jr. when the latter was found guilty of kidnapping for ransom with homicide and sentenced on Thursday morning at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

In an interview with radio dzMM, Fadullon recalled noticing that Surat was handcuffed in front of his body instead of on his back.

“The protocol should have been the handcuffs were on the back, especially since his case is not an ordinary crime," Fadullon said.

Surat had been tagged as the mastermind behind the 2001 kidnap-slay of Mark Harris Bacalla, the son of the late Quezon City Judge Marciano Bacalla.

Fadullon narrated that after Branch 226 Judge Manuel Sta. Cruz, Jr. read the decision against Surat, the latter gave a short response.

“He said something like, ‘I’d like to say sorry to the family of the victim, but I really did not do anything wrong,’” Fadullon recalled.

Fadullon said the judge then asked him if he had any reply to Surat’s statement.

“I said, ‘Kalokohan po yung ganun. You apologize for something but you’re not admitting to what you did. Parang walang remorse. It’s more hurtful to the family.’”

When the judge dismissed them, Fadullon told the family of the victim that they should leave the court room ahead of the convict.

“As I was motioning for them out the door, he [Surat] lunged at my neck and used the grooves of the handcuff to choke me,” Fadullon said.

He said he managed to push Surat away which enabled the guards to subdue the convict.

He said he did not know he already had gashes until the judge called his attention that he was bleeding.

Fadullon said he was immediately given first aid, but he had to go to the hospital to get some anti-tetanus shots.

He said he is “okay" now but will have to go back to the hospital for further check-up.

Surat, meanwhile, is now detained in a “high-risk facility.”

He will be transferred to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, Fadullon said.

Fadullon is one of the more well-known state prosecutors in the Department of Justice, having handled the prosecution of the Ampatuans in the Maguindanao massacre case and the Moro National Liberation Front members in the Zamboanga siege.