A 55-YEAR-OLD man could spend the rest of his life in jail for conspiring with three men in abducting and killing two people in a mountain barangay of Cebu City on Maundy Thursday in 2011.
Regional Trial Court Judge Ester Veloso found Rolando Mijares guilty of two counts of kidnapping with homicide.
Veloso sentenced Mijares to two terms of reclusion perpetua, which places a convict in prison for 20 to 40 years, for killing cousins Manuel Edgardo and Glenn Parawan.
“The denials of the accused Mijares cannot overturn the positive assertions of the prosecution’s eyewitnesses,” read Veloso’s 11-page joint-judgment.
Police arrested Mijares for his participation in the killing of the Parawan cousins, who were hacked to death with a shovel at Sitio Tupas, Barangay Taptap last April 21, 2011.
Glenn, 32, was hacked in the nape and the back of his head. A yellow packaging tape was found around his neck.
Manuel Edgardo, 17, a fourth-year high school student, had hack wounds near his mouth, which was still taped. His hands were also tied.
Mijares’s co-accused were Allan Sanchez, a certain Alladin and one “Junior.” The three accused remain at large.
Mijares was arrested in Alaska-Mambaling last May 25, 2011. A sachet of suspected shabu and .38 revolver loaded with six bullets were recovered from him.
Prosecution witness Gualberto Librando admitted taking part in the crime. But he denied he hit or hacked them.
The Parawan cousins went to Fuente Police Station to visit their detained relative. After learning their relative was jailed at Cebu City Police Office’s stockade, they walked toward a mall.
Librando said their group allegedly forced the cousins to ride their vehicle. At a farm in Barangay Malubog, they let the cousins sit on a chair.
After they hit them with a piece of wood, the cousins fell and two of Librando’s cohorts stabbed them with an ice pick and gaff on suspicions of being hired killers out to kill their drug lord boss.
Mijares then stabbed Glenn in his abdomen with an ice pick. When the victim moaned, they covered his face with masking tape. Mijares also hit Manuel in his left shoulder with a shovel. The victims were then placed inside two sacks and were thrown in Taptap.
Mijares, in his testimony, said they it was Librando and his cohorts who took turns in hitting the victims in their heads.
Mijares said he was afraid to report the incident to the police since their drug lord boss warned to kill him if he would tell authorities about the crime.
He said that Librando framed him up because he got angry when he refused to hold the sacks where the victims were to be placed.
In the joint judgment, Judge Veloso said the prosecution witness’ testimony against Mijares is “worthy of full faith and credit.”
Apart from the jail term, Veloso also ordered Mijares to pay the victims’ heirs P100,000 as civil indemnity; P100,000 as moral damages; P100,000 as exemplary damages; and P50,000 as temperate damages.
Mijares is not eligible for parole, pursuant to Republic Act 9346, also known as An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of the Death Penalty in the Philippines.