What Went Before: Quintos brothers’ killings
In March 2006, former Occidental Mindoro Rep. Jose Villarosa was sentenced to death, along with peasant leaders collectively known as “Mamburao 6,” for the murder of brothers Michael and Paul Quintos, sons of Villarosa’s political rival, Ricardo Quintos.
The convicted farmers were Eduardo Hermoso, Josue Ungsod, Manolito Matricio, Mario Tobias, Ruben Balaguer and Gelito Bautista.
The Quintos brothers were gunned down by a group of men while attending a friend’s birthday party in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro.
The decision meted out by Judge Ma. Theresa Yadao of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 81 came eight years after the death of the Quintos brothers on Dec. 13, 1997.
The elder Quintos had accused Villarosa, then congressman of the province, of masterminding the killings, which he described as politically motivated.
In March 2008, the Court of Appeals acquitted Villarosa (whose wife Ma. Amelita Villarosa is incumbent Occidental Mindoro representative), saying the mere confession of the gunman implicating Villarosa was not enough.
The appellate court’s fifth division, in a decision penned by Justice Noel Tijam dated March 18, ordered the release of Villarosa and “Mamburao 6” farmers Balaguer, Bautista and Tobias. The other members of the fifth division were Martin Villarama and Sesinando Villon.
In November 2008, the Quintos family asked the Supreme Court to reverse Villarosa’s acquittal, saying the appellate court committed an abuse of discretion.
Meanwhile, Villarosa filed criminal and administrative charges against Quezon City judge Yadao in September 2008, accusing her of wrongfully convicting him of the murder.
In October 2009, a resolution by state prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera cleared Yadao of the charges, but in a subsequent directive issued in March 2010, former Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera ordered charges to be filed against Yadao, citing “gross errors” in her decision and reversing Navera’s earlier resolution.
In May this year, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima cleared Yadao of the charges, saying she was denied due process when Devanadera directed her indictment.
In November last year, Villarosa said the Quintos’ filings were a form of “harassment.”
Source: Inquirer Archives
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