Court upholds conviction of 1 in Sasa bombing-A A +A
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
THE Court of Appeals (CA) in Cagayan de Oro City upheld the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Davao City, convicting one of the five suspects in Sasa Wharf bombing in 2003.
In a 35-page decision, CA Associate Justice Edgardo Camello affirmed the decision of RTC Branch 12 Pelagio Paguican to convict Toto Akman for the crime of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder.
Camello, in his decision, said Akman will suffer a penalty of life imprisonment eligible for parole.
The CA also upheld Paguican's decision acquitting Akman's co-accused Jimmy Bululao, Tohami Bagundang/Tohami Ulong, Ting Idar and Esmael Mamalangkas.
Further, the CA ordered the increase in damages for the heirs of the victims from P50,000 for civil indemnity to P75,000; from P50, 000 moral damages to P75,000; and P25,000 exemplary damages to P30,000.
Killed in the incident were identified as Jemarie Grace Espera, Solidad A. Puno, Mark Gabriel D. Espera, Gadelyn Mae Duran Espera, Bonnel Espera Songaling, Ma. Dulce de Guzman, Albert Gumata, Noriel Juarez, Jay Lord Amarillento, Nicko Banail, John Ray A. Morales, Rodito Asis and Pableta Y. Espera.
Meanwhile, the CA ruled that the surviving victims will receive P40,000 each for civil indemnity and moral damages instead of P25,000; and P30,000 for exemplary damages instead of P25,000 as ruled by the lower court.
The court also increased the interest rate of the damages to 12 percent annually from April 2, 2003 upon the finality of the decision.
Akman was found guilty by the lower court after the prosecution proved that he has direct participation in the bombing that killed several people.
The Sasa Wharf was bombed on April 2, 2003.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 12, 2012.