Prosecutors recommend filing of charges vs. 8 suspects


STATE prosecutors have recommended the filing of information for murder, and attempted murder, frustrated murder against two supposed gunmen, an accessory and four other “John Does” in the ambush of former Rep. Amado Espino Jr. that left him wounded and his police escort and driver dead September last year.

In the 23-page Department of Justice (DOJ) panel resolution dated Jan. 3, 2020 penned by Deputy City Prosecutor Mitchel Go as chairman; Assistant City Prosecutors Dennis Anthony Fito, and Rohail Castro as members, and approved by City Prosecutor Glenn Lumanlan, it recommended the filing of two information for the crime of murder for the deaths of victims Agapito Cuison, and Police Staff Sergeant Richard Esguerra, driver and bodyguard respectively of Espino, against Albert Palisoc and Benjie Resultan; John Paul Regalado as accessory and four John Does.

The same respondents were recommended for attempted murder filed by Espino Jr., Police Staff Sergeant Jayson Malsi and Anthony Columbino and for frustrated murder earlier filed by Kerwin Marpuri and for obstruction of justice against Pediraldo Ras Lucenera.

The complaint against 25-year old Baguio-born businessman Jewel Castro was dismissed for lack of probable cause after the prosecutors determined he “could not be implicated because “he never had physical possession of the red Hyundai Elantra car” giving credence to (Pediraldo Ras) Lucinera’s claims, described by the prosecutors as “vague” and whose allegations were “peppered with inconsistencies”.

Out of the 12 named respondents, only nine filed their counter-affidavits– Palisoc, Resultan, Joey Ferrer, Alfred Pascaran, Ronnie Delos Santos, Gerry Pascua, Sherwin Diaz, Teofilo Ferrer and Castro.

Respondent Armando Frias failed to file his counter-affidavit while a certain Ruseller could not be sent a subpoena due to insufficient address and Regalado’s subpoena returned unserved as he cannot be located in his last known address. Ten other John Does were listed as respondents.

All the respondents denied the accusations and were in unison “in arguing that as contained in the SOCO report, the crime was contaminated, hence, any evidence derived therefrom is unreliable”.

Likewise, the two getaway vehicles, a Hyundai Elantra and Ford Everest, as well as the firearms recovered, cannot be connected to any of them considering that they are not the registered owners thereof or did the evidence show that they were in possession thereof, the resolution also said. It added that there was also no witnesses to prove that they alighted from said vehicles.

The DOJ Panel found sufficient probable cause to indict Palisoc and Resultan of the crimes charged based on circumstantial evidence and dismissed the complaints against the other 10 John Does provided by complainants “considering that participation as well as their identities remain unknown”.

On the complaint against Regalado (owner of the Ford Everest get-away vehicle) which he did not refute, the panel found out, has probable cause for the crimes charged “considering that he furnished the means through which the crimes were carried out”. (PhilStar Wire Service /ECV)

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