4 cops, 2 others face murder raps

FOUR police officers and two civilians, including a lawyer, are facing murder and frustrated murder charges in court relative to the ambush of a female lawyer and the death of her companion on December 21, 2018 in Talisay City.

Based on documents, the respondents in the murder and frustrated murder charges are Catherine Berioso-Cabuga, alias Kate Brios, lawyer Jose Max Ortiz, Police Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie Yatar, Police Officer 3 Ronald Ortiz, Senior Police Officer 2 Joshua Barile, Police Inspector James Adrian Albaytar and a John Doe.

No bail was recommended by the Talisay City Prosecutor’s Office against the six respondents for murder charges, while P200,000 was also recommended against each of them for frustrated murder.

But the Talisay City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the complaints for murder and frustrated murder against respondents Police Colonel Francisco Ebreo, former Bacolod City Police Office chief, journalist Dolly Yasa, Shirley Berioso and Caselyn Berioso-Ortiz for lack of probable cause.

The complainant, lawyer Erfe del Castillo, survived despite her injuries but her fiancé, Efren Palmares Jr., a former policeman, did not survive.

“The prosecutor finds sufficient grounds to engender a well-founded belief that the crimes of murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, qualified by treachery, evident premeditation, and with aid of armed men, and frustrated murder have been committed and the respondents, PO3 Ortiz, Albaytar, Yatar, Barile, Atty. Ortiz, Catherine Cabuga,and John Doe, through conspiracy, are probably guilty and should be held for trial,” court record states.

Ortiz, counsel of Catherine Cabuga, had denied the allegations against him.

Other respondents could not be reached for comment as of this writing.

Del Castillo suffered multiple injuries secondary to gunshot wounds during the incident, court records further show.


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