NBI sues Zambo mayor, 3 others for murder and arson
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday filed at the Department of Justice (DOJ) a complaint for murder and arson against a mayor in Zamboanga del Norte and three others for allegedly killing a man and burning his house in 2016.
The respondents in the case were Mayor Flora Villarosa of Siayan municipality, Barangay Poblacion chairman Josecor Gepolongca; Ernie Lumucso, the mayor’s Villarosa’s chief security aide; and Roy Balayong.
The four were accused in the murder of Restituto Lugo Sasuman on September 15, 2016 amid a land dispute.
The NBI-Death Investigation Division said the charges stemmed from the complaint of Sasuman’s wife Teodolfa; the victim’s sister, Adricula; and nephew Elbert.
Lumocso and Balayong later confessed to investigators that they burned the victim’s house, according to the NBI.
The two said they abducted Sasuman from a birthing clinic and brought him to Villarosa’s house where they bound him. They said they later brought him to a spillway, stabbed him to death, then returned to Sasuman’s house and burned it down.
At the mayor’s house, they said Gepolongca gave them an envelope containing P10,000.
Sasuman and another complainant filed a case of forcible entry and sought a restraining order against the mayor and two others in February 2012 following a land dispute. The mayor’s group claimed the real owners of the land had donated the property to the municipal government. Sasuman, however, said he has been in possession of the property for 40 years.
Sasuman said his house was destroyed using heavy equipment owned by the municipal government. /kga
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