Guilty verdict on lesser charge riles victim’s kin
The accused charged with the murder of a car enthusiast last year in Las Piñas City was found guilty of a lesser crime on Tuesday, to the dismay of the victim’s family.
In a 22-page decision, Judge Phoeve Meer of the Las Piñas Regional Trial Court Branch 275 convicted Jose Lito Monreal II of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide for running over Jay Ryan Reblora using the victim’s own car at a party past midnight on Jan. 25, 2015.
According to Meer, the “intent to kill” was absent and that “the use of a motor vehicle could not be appreciated as a circumstance that would qualify the killing [as] murder.”
Reblora’s father Robert, mother Cynthia and siblings Rachel and John Rhoderick were surprised especially since a Court of Appeals judge granted their petition last year to upgrade the charge against Monreal, who remains at large, to murder. This was based on their belief that the suspect and nine other people—including Reblora’s ex-fiancée—had conspired to kill the victim.
Rachel told the Inquirer they believed that Eden Manlapaz took revenge on Reblora for breaking off their engagement a few months before their wedding. Annelle Tayao-Juego
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