The court released two police officers on bail after they were charged with the murder of anticrime crusader Zenaida Luz in Oriental Mindoro province, after the court found weakness in the evidence presented against them.
Lawyer of Citizens Crime Watch (CCW) and of the victim’s family, Juan Agapito Tria III, confirmed on the temporary release of Inspector Markson Almeranez and Senior Inspector Magdalino Pimentel Jr.
Luz was head of the anticrime watchdog CCW in Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) region and gunned down in Gloria town, Oriental Mindoro on October 9 last year.
Richard Albert, Luz’s partner, said in a telephone interview after the hearing at Manila regional trial court (RTC).“We were surprised to see them (Pimentel and Almeranez) in civilian clothes and no longer in handcuffs this morning,”
Issued on August 3, in a 15-page order, Manila RTC Judge Daniel Villanueva set the bail bond at P500,000 each, granting the policemen’s petition for bail.
Lack of merit
This reversed Villanueva’s June 6 decision which originally denied the policemen’s petition for bail “for lack of merit.”
A month later, the policemen, on July 6, filed a motion to reconsider the denial.
Pimentel and Almeranez bail petition was based on results of the cross-matching where bullets recovered from the crime scene did not match the .45 caliber Caspian pistol seized from Almeranez.
It also concluded that no “conspiracy” was established.
“[In] the interest of justice and the exercise of its sound discretion, the court finds at this time that the evidence against the accused does not appear to be strong,” read Villanueva’s order.
Perlita Alvarez, Luz’s sister, said in a separate telephone interview, the family was “even more surprised” as the policemen’s release was granted after several failed attempts to settle with Luz’s family.
Tria said they would file a motion for reconsideration.
Almeranez was a former police chief of Socorro town in Oriental Mindoro and Pimentel was formerly assigned at the Provincial Public Safety Company.
They two were arrested by fellow policemen after a brief chase on the night Luz was attacked.
Investigators, however, said two more suspects remained at large. —(Original Report by) MARICAR CINCO
Source story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/921881/cops-in-murder-of-mindoro-anticrime-crusader-out-on-bail#ixzz4qSud49O6 August 6, 2017