DOJ approves murder raps vs suspects in Iligan solon slay try
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the filing of murder and frustrated murder charges against nine men and several John Does for the slay try on Iligan City Rep. Vicente “Varf” Belmonte.
Facing three counts of murder and four counts of frustrated murder are former Iligan City Mayor Celso C. Regencia, Alfeo Arnoco, Amador “Dongki” B. Baller, Rogelio “Kim” Pitos Sr., Rogelio Pitos Jr., Romeo “Loloy” Suganub, Peejay Capangpangan, Julito “Bino” Oros Ansad, Dodo Silvano and several John Does.
The DOJ has dropped the case against Dominador S. Tumala who is now a government witness.
Belmonte identified his political opponent Regencia as the possible brains behind the slay attempt.
Tumala, in his affidavit, identified Regencia as the mastermind.
The resolution prepared by assistant state prosecutors Olivia L. Torrevillas and Susan Villanueva as well as prosecution attorney Agnes Farida Bagaforo-Arellano II stated that Tumala’s testimony was corroborated by other witnesses such as his claim that fugitive Capangpangan joined the former mayor in the slay attempt. Witness Raul Warak-warak said he saw Regencia and Capangpangan meeting with a group of people in a farmhouse.
Tumala’s testimony that they were given M-16 and a carbine was corroborated by Cleofo Gaid Jr., according to Mark Lu Apag, who said they both saw a van coming from the burst of gunfire and saw three persons armed with long firearms.
Tumala also said the testimony of one of the victims affirmed that they were able to hit Ansad during the attack.
“The panel concluded that these circumstances and positive assertions from witnesses effectively gave credit to respondent Tumala’s narration of the incident that transpired prior to, during, and after the incident,” the resolution stated.
Belmonte and his convoy were attacked by armed men on board a white L-300 van on Dec. 11, 2014, along Access Road in Barangay Gasi, Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, on their way to Iligan City.
A gunfight ensued, leading to the death of Police Officer 3 Mark A. Andres, Eustaquio Silawan and France Ian Dumaguing and injury of respondent Ansad.
“The facts and circumstances presented show a concurrence of acts of the respondents toward a unified purpose of consummating the overt act of ambushing complainants,” the resolution stated.
The resolution was approved by senior deputy state prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon and prosecutor general Claro Arellano.
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