TWO suspects behind the gruesome murder of a Philippine Air Force (PAF) officer pleaded not guilty to the cases filed against them during their arraignment yesterday.

Joshua Garciano and Resamie Cabañog entered their plea before Judge Jacinto Fajardo Jr. of the Regional Trial Court Branch 66 in Talisay City.

Garciano’s counsel, Atty. Rameses Villagonzalo, informed Fajardo that they filed a petition that seeks to allow the suspect to post bail while the trial of his murder case is ongoing.

Jose Jonathan Villordon, counsel for Cabañog, said they will also file a petition for bail next week.

The family of slain PAF Staff Sergeant Mark Herbert Oberes, however, is hoping that the court will not grant Garciano and Cabanog’s petitions for bail.

“We don’t think that would come into fruition since the crime is murder, a non-bailable case,” said Bert Padilla, who serves as spokesperson for the Oberes family.

In an interview after the proceedings yesterday, Villagonzalo told reporters that their plan to file a motion to declare his client as a state witness will have to wait as it needs a joint decision between the complainants and the respondents.

For now, Garciano’s camp will focus on filing a petition for bail.

Villagonzalo said they filed the petition for bail as he believes that the evidence against Garciano is weak and can’t prove any direct involvement in the murder.

He believes that Garciano can give a credible testimony against the main suspects behind Oberes’ murder.

Villordon, for his part, said he will also seek bail for his client as she has no direct participation in Oberes’ murder.

Villordon also called upon Cabañog’s mother, Edna, the alleged mastermind in Oberes’ murder, and three other suspects, to surrender to authorities and help clear her daughter’s name.

He urged Edna, along with other suspects, to sympathize with her daughter’s plight. (GMD, JKV)