‘Glad you’re free’: Messages of relief greet Jade Castro after 40-day detention

March 14, 2024 - 2:58 PM
Jade Castro_press conference
Jade Castro in this screengrab from a video posted by veteran entertainment journalist Mell T. Navarro on Facebook on March 13, 2024 (mell.navarro.16/Facebook)

“40 day backlog.”

Filmmaker Jade Castro expressed his delight after being freed from detention more than a month since he and his companions were arrested without warrant for supposed arson charges last month.

The film director on Tuesday happily posted on the X (formerly Twitter) platform that they are no longer in jail after being arrested by the police on February 1 while vacationing in the Quezon province.

“Wala na kami sa kulungan!” he exclaimed on Tuesday.

“Huli na pala ‘ko sa balita, haha. Maglilista ng napakadaming dapat pasalamatan. Magbabasa pa ng messages at social media, 40 day backlog, hahahuhu,” Jade added.

His friends and members of the film industry took to social media and commented that they were elated and relieved by Jade and his friends’ release.

“Yay! So happy you’re free!” writer Yvette Tan, who has regularly posted about Jade’s detention on her account, commented with party emojis.

“Yay!” film critic Philbert Dy wrote.

“SO HAPPY FOR YOU, JADE!” writer Ian Rosales Casocot commented.

“I’m glad you’re free now, Jade,” former Amazon MGM Studios senior film development executive John Abellera wrote.

“Happy for you Jade, huhuhu,” film and TV director Theodore Boborol commented with emojis of hearts and a smiling-face-with-tears.

“Happy for you,” film director Denise O’Hara wrote with emojis of a folded hands and a smiling face.

Jade and his friends, sales manager Ernesto Orcine, civil engineers Noel Mariano and Dominic Ramos, were released from the Catanauan Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility on Monday.

The release came after the Catanauan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 96 granted the motion to quash the arson charges filed by Jade’s camp, as the court found their arrest invalid.

On February 16, prosecutors had recommended the filing of charges of arson against the director and his friends, who were accused of allegedly burning a modern jeepney in Catanauan on January 31.

The group was arrested on February 1 without an arrest warrant after being pointed out by alleged witnesses of the incident. The police insisted the warrantless arrest was lawful as it was a form of a “hot pursuit.”

However, on February 6, a report on ABS-CBN news showed CCTV footage that Jade and his friends were in the town of Mulanay when the incident happened.

During a House of Representatives probe on February 19, Catanauan police officers acknowledged that they failed to recover any physical evidence from the crime scene linking the director and his companions to the alleged arson incident.

Blanchie Baticulon, one of Jade’s legal counsels, said that the court stated the accused individuals did not exhibit suspicious behavior at the time of the arrest.

ALSO READ: Jade Castro, 3 others freed after court finds arrest ‘invalid’

At least five organizations have previously called for the release of the director, as well as some showbiz personalities like Dolly de Leon and Khalil Ramos.

A fundraising initiative was also launched to help Jade and his friends deal with the legal issue.

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Jade is known for writing and directing the romantic indie film “Endo” which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Best Screenplay at the 2007 Gawad Urian.

He also directed “Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington,” “My Big Love,” “My Lady Boss,” “My Kontrabida Girl,” “Beki Boxer,” “LSS (Last Song Syndrome)” and “Juana C: The Movie.”

Jade also wrote for the films “First Day High,” “RPG Metanoia” and “My Amnesia Girl.”

The filmmaker was additionally the director for Virgin Labfest 12’s “Dalawang Gabi.”