Court orders Aquino slay suspects’ release

The nine former policemen are facing four cases of murder and one frustrated murder for killing Aquino.

TACLOBAN CITY — The private prosecutor handling the case against nine former police allegedly involved in the killing former Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino expressed outrage after a Samar judge ordered the release of the suspects on Friday.

Attorney Alma Uy-Lampasa, lawyer of the Aquino family, said the order to release the suspects is “highly-irregular” since it came from a judge who is privy to the case.

RTC Judge Janet Cabalona, presiding judge of Branch 33 in Calbiga, Samar, ordered the release of dismissed Lieutenant Colonel Harry Sucayre, Major Shyrille Tan, Captain Dino Goles, Lieutenant Julio Armeza Jr., Staff Sergeant Neil Cebu, Staff Sergeant Edsel Omega, Staff Sergeant Randy Merelos, Corporal Julius Garcia, and Patrolman Niño Salem.

Corporal Alexander Demillo, desk officer at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group lock-up facility, said the nine suspects were released at around 4 p.m. on Friday to their respective family and lawyer.

The nine former policemen are facing four cases of murder and one frustrated murder for killing Aquino, his police security aide Master Sergeant Rodeo Sario, his driver Dennis Abayon and bystander Clint John Paul Yauder and injuring another bodyguard of Aquino.

Cabalona, in her release order dated 17 March, said the suspects have posted the necessary bail bond for their provisional liberty.

Judge Maricar Lucero, presiding judge of RTC Branch 31, had earlier issued an order on 7 March to allow all the nine suspects to post a bail of P120,000 each for each of the cases filed against them.

Lucero has inhibited herself from the case citing online threats and slander against her and her family after they allowed the suspects to post bail bonds.

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