DOJ to file raps against 9 cops linked in Calbayog mayor's slay

Published January 21, 2022, 9:38 AM

by Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to file criminal charges against nine cops allegedly involved in the killing of the late Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino and his aides last year.

The DOJ resolved to file at least four murder and one frustrated murder raps against the nine cops being implicated in the incident at the Calbayog Regional Trial Court.

Charged are PLCol. Harry Sucayre, PMaj. Shyrille Tan, PCapt. Dino Goles, PLt. Julio Armeza, Jr., PSsg. Neil Cebu, PSsg. Edsel Omega, PPat. Niño Salem, PCpl. Julius Garcia, and PSsg. Randy Merelos, and other John Does.

The DOJ said the defenses of denial, alibi, and self-defense presented by the cops to the prosecution panel cannot be given weight against the pieces of evidence and witnesses accounts that were gathered by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The prosecution panel declared that on March 8, 2021, the nine accused ambushed the late Mayor Aquino, which also resulted in the death of police escort PSsg. Rodeo Sario, driver Dennis Abayon, and civilian Clint John Paul Yauder; and the wounding of Mansfield Labonite.

However, the panel of prosecutors tasked to conduct a preliminary investigation of the consolidated charges cleared former Vice-Governor Stephen James Tan of Samar and Calbayog Mayoralty candidate Raymund Uy.

The supplemental charges of Murder filed by Mark Aquino against Uy and Tan were dismissed pointing out a strong indication that they were merely an “afterthought.”

The said resolution dismissed the allegations made by the lone witness Police Officer Jose Jay Senario over the alleged involvement of Uy and Tan, stating that his “allegations appear to be far-fetched, which puts his own credibility in question.” On the other hand, the murder, frustrated murder, and grave threat charges filed by the Philippine National Police against Mark Aquino and PCpl. Ramil Rosales were also dismissed by the DOJ panel.