Close  

In the Know: Pablo Martinez among 16 soldiers convicted of killing Aquino

/ 02:53 AM May 09, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—M/Sgt. Pablo Martinez was one of the 16 soldiers who were sentenced to double-life imprisonment for the killings of former Sen. Benigno S. Aquino and his alleged assassin, Rolando Galman, on Aug. 21, 1983, at Manila International Airport tarmac on the return of the opposition leader from three years of self-exile in the United States.

Also convicted by the Sandiganbayan on Sept. 27, 1990, for the murders were Constable Rogelio Moreno, Brig. Gen. Luther Custodio, Capt. Romeo Bautista, 2nd Lt. Jesus Castro, Constable 1C Mario Lazaga, former Sergeants Claro Lat, Arnulfo de Mesa, Filomeno Miranda, Rolando de Guzman, Ernesto Mateo, Rodolfo Desolong, Ruben Aquino, Arnulfo Artates, A1C Cordova Estelo and A1C Felizardo Taran.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction on July 23, 1991.

Martinez was granted conditional pardon by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Nov. 7, 2007, on grounds of old age and good behavior. He was then 70 years old.

FEATURED STORIES

Custodio, who was afflicted with liver cancer while undergoing trial, died soon after the verdict was handed down in 1991, while Estelo was stabbed to death during a jail fight in 2005. On March 14, 2008, Lazaga died in prison after suffering a stroke.

In February 2009, Taran and De Guzman, whose sentences were commuted by President Fidel V. Ramos and Arroyo, respectively, completed their prison terms and were released.

In March 2009, Arroyo granted pardon to the rest of the convicted soldiers still in prison.

In 1995, Martinez admitted knowing Galman and in participating in the plot to assassinate Aquino. He claimed that former Philippine Constabulary Maj. Gen. Romeo Gatan and businessman Hermilo Gosuico, both of whom were known to be closely identified with business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, were deeply involved in the conspiracy.

Martinez also tagged Air Force Col. Romeo Ochoco, vice commander of the Aviation Security Command and a known protégé of Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Fabian Ver, as one of the alleged conspirators. Martinez, who later became a born-again Christian and a pastor, also testified that Air Force Capt. Felipe Valerio was directly in touch with the people who had ordered the killing of Aquino.

Ochoco and Valerio, the leader of the team tasked to secure Aquino on his arrival, disappeared in 1986 when the Sandiganbayan began a retrial of the cases. Ochoco was believed to have a farm in Australia. Valerio was later traced in the United States. The Arroyo administration sought Valerio’s extradition in 2009, but he has not been located.

Who the masterminds were remains a mystery to this day.—Inquirer Research

ADVERTISEMENT

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Aquino assassination, Benigno S. Aquino, History, Ninoy Aquino, Rolando galman
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
opinion

Yes to police body cams

November 12, 2019 04:07 AM

sports

Troubled State

November 12, 2019 04:06 AM

newsinfo

Vendors banned from Ilaya Street in Manila

November 12, 2019 04:06 AM

opinion

Can Aquino work with Robredo?

November 12, 2019 04:06 AM

sports

All-heart Road Warriors are top seeds for a reason

November 12, 2019 04:05 AM



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.