Sulu mayor indicted for homicide, obstruction of justice-A A +A
Monday, January 14, 2013
MANILA (Updated 5 p.m.) -- Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered Monday the filing of homicide and obstruction of justice charges against a Sulu mayor and his close-in security escort for the death of a resident in the area in 2010.
In a six-page Review Resolution, Morales found probable cause to indict Pang Lima Estino Mayor Hji Munib Sahibil Estino and Police Officer 1 Hector Sabdani Abubakar.
The two suspects were allegedly behind the death of Mannan Badang, who was killed on February 22, 2010 while he was inside the temporary municipal hall where a meeting presided over by Estino with some members of the Municipal Council was being held.
Aljimar Bandang, victim’s son, and respondents have different versions as to who shot and killed Badang.
Aljimar and his witness alleged that they saw Estino took his gun, which was placed on the top of the table and shot the victim once below his neck, causing Badang’s instantaneous death.
Estino, however, pointed to Abubakar, his close-in security, as the one who shot the victim, as the latter drew his bolo and attempted to hack him.
In the resolution, Morales said that “[complainant] and his witness Hadjilal Sabaddin are categorical in their statements that they saw Estino shoot Badang inside the temporary municipal hall while [the mayor] was presiding over the settlement of a dispute concerning the family of [the victim.]”
The Ombudsman also found “the narration given by complainant and his witness of the incident to be more credible than the allegation of Estino that it was Abubakar, his close-in security, who shot and killed the victim.”
“The defense interposed by Estino cannot overcome the positive identification made by the complainant and his witness that it was Estino himself who shot and killed the victim. There was no ill motive shown to have motivated the complainant and his witness to point to Estino as the perpetrator of the crime,” the ruling said.
“It would appear that the victim was just being argumentative during the meeting, drawing Estino to get hold of his gun placed on the top of the table and shoot the victim. Clearly, Estino intended to kill the victim as shown by the location of the wound inflicted by the victim,” it added.
The Ombudsman also held that “it appears that Abubakar admitted having shot the victim in order to mislead and cover up for the mayor whom he was a close-in security escort.” (SDR/Sunnex)