BY NELSON L. VILLAREAL
MAMBUSAO, Capiz – A candidate for mayor here has been charged with murder in connection with the assassination of former vice mayor Abel Martinez.
Mayoralty candidate Leodegario Labao Jr. and four others are the subject of an Information for murder before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Mambusao filed on April 10, 2013 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) through Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon, as approved by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano.
Sufficient evidence has been found to establish probable cause for murder with the use of unlicensed firearm against the respondents.
DOJ’s review resolution recommended to RTC Mambusao that a murder case be filed against Geger Francisco, Sunday Danid, Roger Loredo, Engr. Leodegario Labao Jr. and Sgt. Rommel Pamotillo of the Philippine Army, for the murder of martinez.
Executive Judge Daniel Antonio Gerardo Amular issued a “no-bail” warrant of arrest against Labao and four other respondents on the same day the case was filed.
Labao is popularly known as “Boss Labao” and is known to be the favorite contractor of former 2nd Capiz District congressman Fredenil Castro, the husband of incumbent Cong. Jane Castro.
Senior Supt. Domingo Cabillan, Capiz police director, said they tried to serve the warrant of arrest to Labao, but the subject is nowhere to be found.
Cabillan believes the engineer-contractor is still in Panay Island and is only hiding.
“I call on Mr. Labao to come out in the open and face the charges against him in court,” Cabillan said.
The case stemmed after Roger Loredo, in his extrajudicial confession, tagged Labao as the mastermind of the plan to assassinate Martinez.
According to Loredo, thru his gun-for-hire friend, Gilbe Principe, he was hired by Pamotillo to do a “tumba-patis transaction” or an assassination project.
Loredo also said that he, together with Principe, a certain Sonny and Buddy, executed the project on May 4, 2012 against a person in Mambusao town.
Witnesses during Martinez’s assassination identified Geger Francisco as the person holding a gun while fleeing from the crime scene and who is believed to be in cahoots with Loredo.
Labao, now a wanted person, is running for mayor against Sharon Martinez, daughter of the slain vice mayor.
In previous reports, Labao denied having anything to do with the killing./PN