MANILA, Philippines—Murder charges were filed on Friday against two men and a woman in connection with the recent ambush-slay of Erlinda Domingo, mayor of Maconacon town in Isabela, and the wounding of her driver-bodyguard, Bernard Plasos.
Christian Pajenado, 26, Michael Domingo, 38, and Mary Grace Abduhadi, 25, all arrested in Quezon City shortly after the shooting, were subjected to inquest proceedings that lasted from late Thursday night to early Friday morning.
Inquest prosecutor Rodrigo del Rosario found the suspects were lawfully arrested and that there was probable cause to hold them for trial.
At least 5 suspects
The Quezon City prosecutor had recommended the charge of murder, a nonbailable offense, for the killing of Domingo and attempted murder in connection with the wounding of Plasos. Several counts of illegal possession of firearms were also added.
Domingo was shot dead outside the Park Villa Apartelle at the corner of Examiner Street and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City shortly before 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
Investigators said “at least five” suspects reportedly arrived aboard two motorcycles.
Pajenado was the first to be nabbed on Tuesday night at a construction site, where he allegedly ran and hid after the crime. Police said he “confessed” to being part of the hit group.
Domingo and Abduhadi were arrested in Barangay Culiat in separate operations hours later.
The woman’s husband, Marsibal Abduhadi, alias “Bagwis,” is the suspected gunman, police said. But Plasos pointed to Mary Grace as a lookout in the operation, police also said.
The woman had reportedly claimed she had not seen her husband in a while. But police said they found a bag with a Beretta .25-caliber pistol, a .45-calibe rpistol and dried marijuana leaves was found in her house. She was charged with two counts of illegal possession of firearms, violation of the gun ban under the Omnibus Election Code, and drug possession.
Pajenado also faces one count each of illegal possession of firearms and violation of the election gun ban for the .45-caliber pistol recovered from him.
One witness told police he heard two gunshots then saw the suspects running away from the inn.
Del Rosario recommended that murder and frustrated murder charges against two more suspects who are still at-large, the alleged gunman Bagwis and a certain “Khalid,” be set for further investigation.