6 convicted for Espinosa assassination
A Manila court sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday the former warden of the Masbate provincial jail and three other men for the assassination of Masbate City mayor Moises Espinosa Jr. more than 10 years ago.
In a 58-page decision, Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Rosalyn Loja found jail warden Charlie Quidato, jail guards Isagani Quidato and Ramilo Ayque, and detainee Alex Alteza, guilty of conspiracy in the murder of Espinosa during a fiesta at Barangay (village) Bantique, Masbate on Aug. 9, 2001.
The four men were meted reclusion perpetua (life imprisonment) and ordered to pay P5.32 million to the heirs of Espinosa.
Two others—Dindo Niez and Pio Badaguas, both detainees at the provincial jail—were meted 20 to 40 years for being accomplices in the murder.
However, the six were acquitted for the murder of three bystanders.
The judge said the prosecution had failed to prove that the suspects had intended to kill them.
The lawyer of the convicted men, Alex Almario, lamented the verdict and vowed to appeal.
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