THE alleged gunman in the shooting to death of businessman Manuel Ting pleaded not guilty to the murder charge against him.

Ruel Velez, the alleged gunman of Ting, entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment yesterday before Judge Gabriel Ingles of the Regional Trial Court Branch 58.

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Velez declined media interviews after his arraignment.

Velez’s lawyer, Democrito Barcenas, said his client is a “fall guy” and he believes the accused is innocent of the crime.

Barcenas said Velez would not file his counter-affidavit because he said doing so is just an “exercise in futility.”

Barcenas said it is now the duty of the prosecution to prove the guilt of Velez and the court will determine the culpability of the accused.

Cebu City Assistant City Prosecutor Alexander Acosta earlier found probable cause to indict Velez for murder in court.

“After evaluating the uncontroverted evidences presented by the complainant, the undersigned found probable cause to believe that herein respondent (Velez) committed the crime of murder,” Acosta said in his two-page resolution.

Murder

Acosta said the fact that the victim sustained 10 fatal gunshot wounds in various parts of his body “would qualify the killing as murder.”

Ting, 72, president of Cebu Parklane International Hotel, was driving his Mercedes Benz (MGT 168) when the gunman attacked him while he was making a right turn toward San Jose Village St. from F. Llamas St., Cebu City last June 22.

At least two witnesses and five police officers from the Cebu City Police Office executed separate affidavits pointing to Velez as the assailant.