THE common-law wife of slain Cebu City Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta wants the entire Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office to back off from handling the cases against the suspected mastermind of the ambush-slay.
Assisted by her lawyer Salvador Solima, Jocelyn Mendoza filed a motion asking the provincial prosecutors to voluntary inhibit themselves from resolving the murder and attempted murder complaints against Winefredo Miro, former operations head of the Cebu City Market Operations Division (MOD).
“In the highest interest of justice, private complainant humbly and sincerely requests that all provincial prosecutors to voluntarily inhibit themselves from handling the case,” read Mendoza’s pleading.
She cited Miro’s supposed influence as a former City Hall employee under the Office of the Mayor. Mendoza wants the case to be resolved by other prosecutors from the Department of Justice.
Police charged Miro with murder and attempted murder complaints before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office last Dec. 27, 2018.
Rupinta was ambushed past 9 p.m. in Barangay Yati, Liloan, Cebu last Nov. 23, 2017.
Miro, who is also a former village councilman, denied he masterminded the ambush of Rupinta. While he and Rupinta belonged to different political parties, Miro said he had no personal grievance against the victim.
Mendoza told police that Miro and his associates, Cheche Sipalay-Gomez, who is reportedly the president of Cebu Vendors’ Association, and Largo, “might have orchestrated” the ambush-slay of Rupinta.
Mendoza cited the “long-standing feud” between Rupinta and Miro for the control of the vendors’ group in Carbon Public Market.
During their arraignment on Dec. 16, 2017, Jimmy Largo, the suspected gunman, and his alleged cohort, Jordan Gera, pleaded not guilty before the Regional Trial Court. They appeared before Judge Ferdinand Rafanan of the Regional Trial Court Branch 88 in Mandaue City.
The Office of the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor indicted Largo for murder and attempted murder before the trial court.
Likewise, the police filed separate cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives and violation of the illegal drugs law against Largo before the City Prosecutor’s Office.
Last Sept. 24, 2017, the police said that Largo caught in the act of illegal possession of one sub-machine pistol with 11 live ammunition, a .45 caliber pistol, a hand grenade and two sachets of suspect shabu on F. Gonzales St. at Carbon Public Market.
Largo, 41, of V. Rama St. in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, maintained his innocence. (GMD)