Ombudsman indicts Sulu mayor

ombudsman-conchita

OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the filing of charges of homicide and obstruction of justice against the municipal mayor of Pang Lima Estino, Sulu and his close-in security escort for the death of a resident in the area in 2010.

In a six-page Review Resolution, Ombudsman Morales found probable cause to indict Mayor Hji Munib Sahibil Estino and PO1 Hector Sabdani Abubakar for Homicide defined and penalized under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and for violation of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1829 or obstruction of justice.

Records showed that on February 22, 2010, the victim Mannan Badang was at Barangay Poblacion (Punay), Pang Lima Estino inside the temporary municipal hall where a meeting presided over by Estino with some members of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) was being held.

During said meeting, Badang was shot and laid dead on the floor.

Complainant Aljimar Bandang (victim’s son) and respondents have different versions as to who shot and killed Badang.

Aljimar and his witness alleged that they saw Estino took his gun which was placed on the top of the table and shoot the victim once below his neck, causing his instantaneous death.

Mayor Estino on his part pointed to Abubakar, his close-in security, as the one who shot the victim as the latter drew his bolo and attempted to hack him.

In the Resolution, Ombudsman Morales said that “[complainant] and his witness Hadjilal Sabaddin are categorical in their statements that they saw Estino shoot Badang inside the temporary municipal hall while [the mayor] was presiding over the settlement of a dispute concerning the family of [the victim.]”

Ombudsman Morales also found “the narration given by complainant and his witness of the incident to be more credible than the allegation of Estino that it was Abubakar, his close-in security, who shot and killed the victim.”

“The defense interposed by Estino cannot overcome the positive identification made by the complainant and his witness that it was Estino himself who shot and killed the victim. There was no ill motive shown to have motivated the complainant and his witness to point to Estino as the perpetrator of the crime,” the ruling stated.

“It would appear that the victim was just being argumentative during the meeting drawing Estino to get hold of his gun placed on the top of the table and shoot the victim. Clearly, Estino intended to kill the victim as shown by the location of the wound inflicted by the victim.”

The Ombudsman further held that “it appears that Abubakar admitted having shot the victim in order to mislead and cover up for the mayor whom he was a close-in security escort.”

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