THE two men accused of shooting to death former Hindang, Leyte mayor Roy Jumao-as and his son, Jake, in Cebu City were found guilty of the crime by a Cebu City judge.

PO1 Roque Marsan Bisnar and Neddy Polistico were convicted on two counts of murder for violating Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code by Judge Gilbert Moises of the Regional Trial Court Branch 18.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

In a press statement, the lawyers of Bisnar and Polistico said they will appeal Moises’s judgment.

“Despite the conviction by the court beyond reasonable doubt, the two accused still maintain that they have no participation whatsoever in the death of Mayor Jumao-as and Jake (Jumao-as),” lawyers Noel Archival, Jessie Capoy and Francis Anthony Javelosa said in a statement.

The lawyers said their clients “are seeking justice so the real perpetrators and the mastermind will not go scot-free for their responsibility for the death of the two…and it is unfair for them to serve the sentence for the crime they have not committed.”

The mayor and his son were killed in a broad daylight ambush on Gen. Maxilom Ave. in Cebu City on March 4, 2004.

The prosecution presented seven witnesses to convince the court the two suspects were the ones who staged the ambush.

Prosecution witness Bernaditha Andrino said she was outside their house on D. Jakosalem St., Cebu City when she heard successive gunshots.

When she went out to check, Andrino said she saw two men, who carried firearms, running away.

She recalled having seen a man, who was later identified as Bisnar, hanging around near the residence of the slain mayor.

In the evening of March 4, Andrino said she was invited by police investigators to the police office where she was asked to

describe the identity of the suspects.

During the court hearing, Andrino identified Bisnar and Polistico as the ones she saw around the area prior to the shooting.

A 10-year-old girl also testified in court as having seen the two gunmen whom she met on her way home last July 4.

The two accused were carrying firearms, she said. She said the two gunmen told her to go home because a shooting would occur.

The girl also positively identified the two accused inside the court.

Jumao-as’s widow, Narcisa, testified that prior to the ambush, she spotted Bisnar twice in the area. Later, Narcisa said her son, Jake, called her that they were near their rented apartment when she heard gun shots.

Narcisa said she rushed outside of their apartment and saw two men walk away.

Polistico, a carpenter, denied committing the crime, saying he does not personally know the victims. He said he was inside the house where he worked as a stay-in carpenter.

Polistico said he was surprised when policemen arrested him while he was working last March 7, 2004.

Bisnar, for his part, said he was on his “tour of duty” when the killing occurred. He said he does not know the victims.

Bisnar denied he was hired by a politician to kill the victims.

Moises ordered Bisnar and Polistico to pay the family of the victims P75,000 as civil indemnity; P50,000 for moral damages; P25,000 for exemplary damages and P25,000 for temperate damages for the death of the mayor.

Bisnar and Polistico were ordered to pay the family of the victims about P75,000 as civil indemnity; P50,000 for moral

damages; P25,000 for exemplary damages and P25,000 for temperate damages for the death of the mayor’s son. (GMD)