Friday, April 21, 2017
BACOLOD City – Police Station 1 is trying to revive the case against the suspects in the fatal 2016 Christmas Day robbery of JDS Mindoro Enterprise Corp. on Locsin-Luzuriaga streets, Barangay 13.
Senior Inspector Eugene Tolentino, station commander, said they filed on Wednesday at the City Prosecutor’s Office a motion for reconsideration against the latter’s resolution dated March 25.
“Considering that the evidence presented, standing alone without the material and lone eyewitness to testify on the subject incident as well as to establish the positive identification of the respondents in this case, the same is found to be wanting and insufficient to establish probable cause, more so successfully prosecute the case in the event the same is elevated in court, the undersigned investigating prosecutor is constrained to recommend the dismissal of the above-entitled case without prejudice for reasons already stated,” investigating prosecutor and senior assistant city prosecutor Ma. Theresa Ditching said in the resolution.
Byron Baccaro, the supposed “star witness,” was shot to death on Jan. 4 in Barangay Granada.
Before he was killed, Baccaro will reportedly retract his sworn statement tagging two people to the robbery that led to the death of Changle Wu, son of JDS owner, and security guard Jilbert Jilbert Mayang.
Robbery with homicide, murder and frustrated murder charges were filed against Jayson Sumalangcay of Barangay Granada, Marlon Famucol of Barangay Alijis and three John Does at the City Prosecutor’s Office on Jan. 17.
“In the case at bar, although it is a fact that deceased eyewitness Bacarro executed an affidavit positively identifying the respondents as the persons responsible for the crime, said affidavit had already lost its credibility and probative value when evidence was likewise shown that he made a statement in another occasion (even if the same was not done under oath),” said Ditching. “More particularly so since Bacarro is no longer around to authenticate the same nor can he be confronted with his two conflicting statements.”
She added: “Moreover, even if respondents’ defense of denial and alibi are generally considered weak defense, the testimony of remaining witnesses and documents submitted likewise failed to establish a circumstantial evidence sufficient to support a finding of probable cause which would warrant the indictment of the respondents in this case.”
Aside from the fatalities, three Chinese nationals were wounded when an armed person barged into the store and fired at people inside.
In the motion, Tolentino said there were “reversible errors in the appreciation of facts and circumstances and the applicable jurisprudence.”
Toletino said the prosecutor maintained that the allegation does not amount to probable cause and thus insufficient to secure conviction, but he disagrees.
“The preliminary investigation is an executive act of determination of probable cause and should be distinguished from proof beyond reasonable doubt, which is lodged in the courts to secure conviction in criminal cases,” he said./PN