THE police has identified former barangay Ermita councilor and now market operations head Winefredo Miro as the alleged mastermind in the ambush-slay of Ermita barangay captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta last November 23 in Tayud, Liloan. Charges of murder and frustrated murder were filed by the police before the City Prosecutors Office last Thursday against Miro.
The name of Miro and that of Juvelyn Gomez, leader of another ambulant vendors’ organization in the Carbon area, had surfaced days after Rupinta and his partner, Jocelyn Mendoza, were ambushed. Gomez denied her alleged participation in the killing of Imok. The police did a case build up against Miro. And now with circumstantial evidence, they filed the twin cases against Miro.
One piece of evidence used was the affidavit of Mendoza, who claimed that Miro orchestrated the assassination of Imok, taking into consideration their long-standing grudge for the control and dominance of the vendors’ association and other sources of income at the Carbon market. Another witness, Rolando Pacres, executed an affidavit claiming he was approached by one of the gunman, Jimmy Largo, to kill Rupinta for P150,000, Pacres claimed he and Largo were hired killers active from 2010 to 2016.
Pacres also claimed he met Miro sometime in September this year and was given a sketch on Imok’s daily routine, the plate number of his car and the exact address of his residence in San Vicente, Liloan written in a small pink cartolina. The police claimed that they are in the possession of the sketch plan.
These are hearsay and could not convict Miro.
Mendoza claimed that Miro has an ax to grind against Imok. Siguro gyud kaha siya nga si Miro ra ang adunay kalagot ni Imok? What about the ambulant vendors whose stalls Rupinta rdered demolished because they refused to pay the daily arkalaba his organization?
On the part of Pacres, who said that he was approached by Largo to kill Imok with the package of P150,000, can he also prove that in court? In fact his affidavit is not detailed. Did he accept the money and joined the group of Largo and another suspect, Jordan Gera, to carry out the assassination?
That sketch supposedly given by Miro to Pacres will not stand in court. Anybody can manufacture a sketch plan. Maayo man gani aning Pacres imbestigahon pod ni kung kinsa iyang gipamatay kay mi-angkon man siyang hired killer siya.
If I were the prosecutor handling the preliminary investigation, I will dismiss this case. There are only two solid grounds why a case is filed in court. Prima facie evidence and a probable cause.
The case against Miro does not even fall under “probable cause” because the evidence submitted by the investigators are weak. Remember that this is a criminal case and that the conviction of the accused should be “beyond reasonable doubt.”
This is a half-baked investigation. I don’t know if the police were pressured by the family and supporters of Imok to come up with results. Or they just want to impress the public that they have solved this sensational crime. The strongest evidence should have been the confession of the gun-for-hire. But both Largo and Gera denied any involvement in the killing. Well, atong huwaton kun mobarug na ni sa husgado.