Anikow murder suspects granted bail

Makati judge cites weak proof of conspiracy, superior strength




The video that went viral was apparently not convincing enough.
The four men charged with the murder of US Marine Major George Anikow walked out of jail on Friday after being granted bail by a Makati City judge who cited insufficient proof that they acted in conspiracy and used “superior strength” in the street brawl that led to the killing.

After almost three months in detention, Juan Alfonso Abastillas, Osric Cabrera, Galicano Datu III and Crispin de la Paz gained provisional liberty after posting bail at P300,000 each. Their lawyers got them out of Makati City jail around 2:30 p.m., shortly after securing the ruling dated Feb. 21 from Judge Winlove Dumayas of Makati Regional Trial Court-Branch 59.

It was a crucial twist in the case closely monitored by the US Embassy, which had consistently sent observers to the bail hearings. Anikow, 41, a US Marine previously deployed in Afghanistan, was also the husband of an American diplomat then posted in the country and residing in the upscale Bel-Air subdivision in Makati.

Fatal stabbing

Juan Alfonso Abastillas. INQUIRER PHOTO

An altercation between Anikow and the four accused at a security checkpoint near Bel-Air led to the killing in the early morning of Nov. 24, 2012. The incident was partly captured on a security camera and the video clip was later presented as evidence by the prosecution.

In a seven-page resolution, Dumayas said the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence to prove that the suspects acted in conspiracy or used superior strength—two elements of murder—in the fatal stabbing of Anikow, who was reportedly drunk at the time.

“After a perspicacious review of both the testimonial and documentary evidence of the prosecution, the court is of the view that the evidence of guilt, insofar as it indicts the accused for murder, is not strong and thus entitles all to bail,” the judge said.

Galicano Datu lll. INQUIRER PHOTO

Dumayas described the incident as “a tragedy triggered by uncontrollable display of ‘machismo’ attributable to Anikow’s hard pounding of the (suspects’) car, perceived as degrading and high handed by the accused.”

Unrestrained emotions

He said he did not consider Anikow, “an established member of the United States military service, to be placed at a disadvantage given the number of the accused.”

He noted that Anikow also hit the accused when they exchanged blows.

“The altercation itself being attributable to unrestrained emotions cannot be stretched as an abuse of superior strength,” the judge said. “The circumstances surrounding the case, the height, built and superior traits of the victim must also be considered in the determination of whether there was abuse of superior strength enough to upgrade the offense to murder.”

Crispin de la Paz. INQUIRER PHOTO

In dismissing the element of conspiracy, he said “the untoward incident was created by plain emotional upheaval. It is therefore unplanned.”

While the suspects’ parents hailed the ruling, Dr. Jose Cabrera, father of Osric, said he still felt aggrieved by the way the hearings went and that he would inform President Benigno Aquino III about it.

“Even the prosecution witness stated that the aggressor was Anikow. And it is very clear that there was no conspiracy among the accused,” said Jay de Castro, counsel of Datu III.

Hannah Arriola, the lone public prosecutor in the case, said she was disappointed by the ruling. “I honestly believe that there’s enough basis, that the evidence of guilt is strong and that there is enough basis for the denial of bail,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“With the court granting bail, it clearly undermines the charge of murder because, in essence, the court ruled that what we have is insufficient to establish the qualifying circumstance,” Arriola said.


She also noted that the court tackled the issue of conspiracy which in her view was “immaterial” to the granting of the petition for bail.

“Where is the court leading to? Only the suspect who stabbed the victim would be found guilty of homicide?” she added.

Dumayas’ ruling considered the following pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution:

The closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the Nov. 24 incident, the eyewitness testimony of security guard Jose Romel Saavedra, the testimony of Dr. Voltaire Nulud who did the autopsy on Anikow’s body and the medico-legal examination of the four accused, the testimonies of Damasino Dosohan Jr. and Leo Puri on the authenticity of the CCTV video, and the testimony of PO3 Noel Cuestas who was presented as a video enhancement expert.

“These were the strongest evidence presented by the prosecution,” Arriola stressed. “And it’s disappointing because in most cases we have to work with less.”

“Now I don’t know how to proceed from this point onward because I really believe the prosecution has more than enough,” she added.

Earlier in the trial, the defense lawyers asked the court to downgrade the murder charge to homicide. The next hearing is set on March 7.

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  • mangtom

    Lutong makaw na naman ito. 

    I have a feeling that one or all of the accused will disappear in thin air, a la Lacson, while on bail. They will change identity, use forged passports and escape prosecution. It will be a big surprise if my gut feeling turns out to be wrong. 

  • Joe Kano

    This decision should be perspicaciously reviewed.

  • Jim De Garman

    check the bank accounts of dumayas she just became the new multi millionaire judge of the Philippine.

    • willylansangan

      i think the judge is not that stupid to accept cash if indeed there is a bribery siempre cash iyon baka itago pa sa kisame for the meantime kasi alam niya marami ang magtataas ng kilay sa kanyang decision.

  • 33Sambuang2

    bayaran kang judge. stupid stupid stupid .only in the phils

    • diamond_digger

       While Judge Dumayas is deemed the king in his own court and could interpret the laws the way he wants it, there is one law he couldn’t bend – the law of KARMA. May he, in his lifetime, experience (thru his family and relatives) the same thing that happened to the case of Maj. Anikow.

  • boybakal

    This is ridiculous…Granted bail for the murder they committed.
    Dapat hulihin na ang mga Pilipinong TNT at No Bail….as reciprocity retaliation.

    • 33Sambuang2

      korek ka dyan. ngayon agree ako sa yo. maraming tnt dito ang mapagsamantala ng kabutihan ng gobyero ng amerika….

  • CN

    My advise to the family of Anikow; just get a hired killer to get justice, ala vigilante style. The suspects are rich and powerful. I thought that they will not get away with it considering that it’s a foreigner victim, much more, from a superpower USA. But I was wrong, money really talks, and the judge listens.


    • crisostomo_ibarra_the3rd

      Hindi naman siguro money talk issue ito. Homicide naman kasi ang naging kaso at hindi murder kaya nakapag piyansa. 

    • salomeahmad

      Include the judge.

    • 33Sambuang2

      tama. salvage ang mga gagong yan

  • crisostomo_ibarra_the3rd

    Hindi na maibabalik pa ang buhay ng namatay. Dapat pagbayaran ng mga criminal ang mga ginawa nila. Open and shut case na yan. May videong kasama as evidence. Before long, nakapangibang bansa na ang mga pasaway na yan para magtago. 

    • yyzxyz

      Since they are stupid enough to kill somebody, perhaps they can hide in the US.  I am sure these four morons will be  “taken care” of the moment they get-off the airplane! Oh, they killed a US Serviceman…stupid!

      • crisostomo_ibarra_the3rd

        Dahan dahan ka sa pagsasalita. Hindi kaya ikaw ang stupid? Why would the 4 morons hide in the US?

      • yyzxyz

        ditto; see above comment in reply to alfredinsik

      • crisostomo_ibarra_the3rd

        I got that but why call the poster stupid?
        “Oh, they killed a US Serviceman…stupid!”

      • yyzxyz

        No you don’t. Please refer to my initial response to alfredinsik.  End of story.

      • yyzxyz

        Because they are morons; get it?

      • crisostomo_ibarra_the3rd

        I got that but why call the poster stupid? 

      • 33Sambuang2

        isa kang estupido. paano makapunta yan dito sa amin. e kelangan me visa or kahit na me visa anong tingin mo sa customs and immigration tanga at ugok na pareho sa pinas na pwedeng magpalusot ng pasahero?

      • yyzxyz

        amin??? how long have you lived in the US?  it sounds like you just landed yesterday; you can’t decipher what sarcasm is, or you don’t have a proper command of the language, or just don’t have a sense of humor? which is which? choose one and get a life!!!!

      • dd


  • salomeahmad

    Mukhang nabili na ata si judge.  All 4 of the accused got off the car w/one w/ a bladed weapon & gave chase signifying each wanted a piece of 1 & the judge doesn’t see abuse of superior strength here? An exchange of blows by the disadvantage in number is not aggression but simple self- defense. The way this judge sounds, its the lawyer of the accused. Hopeless talaga PH.

    • billijo

      Didn’t you know that my kids never does anything wrong. It sounds like this doctor does abortion in the back alleys.

  • yyzxyz

    “While the suspects’ parents hailed the ruling, Dr. Jose Cabrera, father of Osric, said he still felt aggrieved by the way the hearings went and that he would inform President Benigno Aquino III about it.” 
    So, this Dr. Kavorkian has connections with the administration?  Now, he is still going to whine about how his saintly (not) son got the bad rap for killing a human being…pathetic!

  • Ernesto

    murder na ang kaso naging homicide pa.malinaw na murder kuha ng cctv

  • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

    one question lang to all present. i have no answer for this. you are driving then a huge man starts banging on your car roof (let’s say it’s an expensive car) in the middle of the night. what would you do? honesty ha ;) like i said, wala akong sagot para dito. 

    • billijo

      Are you saying that if this was your car that you and your friends would have killied him?
      I hope that you have not and will not ever reproduce.

      • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

        hahaha…shows the brains that exist in this bulletin board. neither of you answered the question nor read the post properly. so, neither do you have reading skills, your comprehension skills are also sorely lacking?

      • EdDelaCruz

        I would stab him because if anyone touches my car they deserve to die in the street like a dog. Especially since I’m awesome.

    • BIGButo

      Killing some over a tap on a car is crazy. Normal people don’t do things like that. They were all just little young punks!

  • billijo

    It use to be said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I guess you can add to this saying That all of the words are ‘all lies’.The Philippines are in bad need of competent judges.

    • BIGButo

      Philippines is very corrupt money will buy anything for the right price and who you know

  • 33Sambuang2

    dumayas, dumayas ka na sa pwesto. pwehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • Nida

    it happens here in the us everyday, we call it road rage, just the other day a guy driving a maserati was shot by a guy driving an suv.well i guess anikow was still lucky even though he died, he was able to fight back, but i feel sorry for that guy, he thought he being a marines is like superman, well i guess us marines are only good if they r wearing their armor vest, kevlar helmet and carrying their m4 and beretta, other than that without those equipment he is just a regular joe……so lessons learned here is, if  u r a us military on vacation on a foreign country, just stay low and avoid trouble,u r only good in a fight if u have ur military equipment…..

  • Magsasaka

    iba ang batas para sa mahihirap at iba rin ang batas para sa mayayaman, nagiging double standard dahil sa pera nababayaran kasi ang mga judges

  • BIGButo

    They have plenty money they can get anything they want in the Philippines that’s just how it is soon the will be out of the country for awhile to let things cool down

    • tita_cacayan

       wrong, the only safe place for them to go is afghanistan  US marines has a dirty department moonlighting as contrator , they operating around the world ,fthey have money for local hitmen , for the moment they just watch and see.March 7

  • $14334231

    justice leonen….nabasa mo ba ito??????……paki tingnan mo nga ang cctv….at pag napatunayan na mali si dumayas, pa”dayasin” na ‘yan sa kanyang puwesto….tutal, marami na rin siyang pera galing sa apat na pamilya kaya di n’ya na kailangan pang magtrabaho….a case of a corruptible government employee…dumayas, that is…..

  • mortnbonn

    anak ng baka….ang hirap sa ating pinoy, colonial mentality pa rin. Fair ang judgement na yan….akala ng marinong yan nasa afghanistan pa siya, masyadong overbearing, dinaan sa laki nya at experience as a US marine…lasing pa, inaaway ang security! pagdaan nung apat, sila ang pinagdiskahan ng yabang nito….so, hindi pre meditated murder yan…

    • DarkJustice

      Korek! HIndi ako kampi sa apat pero sa nakikita ko hindi pre-planned yan kaya hindi murder kaya pede sila mag bail. Ang bottom line lang is nakapatay sila. Parang ganito,sinampal ka ng kaharap mo,so nagdilim paningin mo sa galit,nasakal mo sya at napatay pero hindi mo pinagplanuhan patayin,di ba?
      Ang murder kasi eh nagplano ka..Pede pa kung yung apat eh umalis muna,saka bumalik at saka pinagsasaksak si Kano ,hayun,may element doon na nagplano sila kaya bumalik.

  • tita_cacayan

    moron ,they are already safe inside jail .since their option now is to hide ,well the US marine contractor will help them to hide …permanently  …

  • dd

    I thought you can not be allowed bail if you are accused of murder. 

    • opinyonlangpo

      The judge probably see it as self defense because the victim turned out to be superman.

  • opinyonlangpo

    It all depends on power and money. Why is it that I will not be surprised if all the accused will be acquitted and the dead victim will be charged for disturbing the peace and attempted murder. Its more fun in the Philippines.

    • BIGButo

      Yes in the Philippines it’s all about the money and who you know and that’s a fact

  • EREC

    Kung ordinaryong mamayan po ang gumawa sa pangyayari sigurado po nawalang kawala sa batas at bulag pa ang batas, kahit grant of bail ay hindi mabibigyan ng pagkakataon. Subalit, dahil ang mga pumatay at kasabwat sa pagpatay ay mayayaman at may pera ang batas ay walang piring…. kung hindi ako nagsasabi ng totoo …. bakit dipo natin rebisahin ang mga naakusahan ng pagpapatay diyan sa ating mga bilangguan…. minsan nga po mas subra pa yong taon na ginugul sa pagkakakulong sa panahon ng bigyan nang conviction.

  • EREC

    Whatever the ARGUMENT & EVIDENCES….. the offender COMMIT MURDER which strongly punishable by LAW!

    • DarkJustice

      Yes,they killed and it is called Homicide in criminal cases. Ngayon ang homicide,pedeng murder kung intentional,pre-planned(murder). Pero saking opinion,hindi pre-planned. Out of temper dahil medyo mayabang din ang Kano(hinampas ang kotse), binugbog/sinaksak nila right there and then,walang plano plano,nagkasagutan,nagkahiyaan,nagkamatayan! Kasi kung murder,pinagplanuhan yan,ano mga elements na nagplano sila? Wala kasi hindi naman sila umalis at saka bumalik,hayun,pede sabihing nagplano sila saka bumalik at may intention na patayin na si Kano.Parang ganito yan,sinampal ka bigla,nagdilim ang paningin mo syempre sa galit,nasakal mo kaharap mo sa galit at napatay mo.Hindi mo pinagplanuhan di ba? Pero napatay mo..

      • salomeahmad

        Bukod sa 4 laban sa 1, ang decesion sa  paglabas at pag gamit ng patalim na naging sanghi sa pagpatay, ay sapat na katibayan at intention, hinde lang gulpihin, kundi pati na rin saksakin. Explain to me the presence & use of a deadly weapon at the scene?  Where they chefs preparing to cut tuna slivers for sashimi? It wasn’t even a kitchen knife. 

  • indiosbravos2002

    Takeaways from this trial:

    1) Philippines (in)justice is equal to everyone. Even if you are american you get subjected to our sh@tty justice system.
    2) Hard/documentary evidence is subject to the judges interpretation. it would help a lot if money is involved. It would clear the judge’s interpretation in your favor
    3) There is no such thing as an open/shut case. All depends on #2
    4) AND YES. Judges can be bought for a penny. Dont believe judges with doubtful name as WINLOVE DUMAYA(s). Pangalan pa lang sindikato na. Baka syota to ni Midas Marquez. Corrupt.

  • indiosbravos2002

    Ganon na ba kaincompetent ang mga judges sa pilipinas? Judge WINLOVE DUMAYA(s). Balik ka ng law school buseeeet!

  • indiosbravos2002

    All those people having cases presided by WINLOVE DUMAYA(s). You know the drill. Better prepare millions to win your cases because this is one expensive judge to buy.

  • yonoh

    lasing ka tapos apat ang kalaban mo at saka may panaksak  yan ba ang superior of strength…………………………eh siguro kung lumaban lang ng husto yong kano at may napatay sya saka sya namatay yon siguro ang superior of strength…………….hehehehehe…………

  • mortnbonn

    walang issue napatay yung kano (kuno)….ang issue lang, homicide o murder. sabi ng judge, homicide….tapos…

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