TWO Mindoro Oriental police officers arrested and jailed for the killing of an anti-crime crusader in the province last October 9 have been formally charged with multiple cases, including murder and direct assault, with no bail recommended, Police Regional Office 4-B director Chief Supt. Wilben M. Mayor said yesterday.
Senior Insp. Magdaleno Pimentel Jr. and Insp. Markson Almeranez and two John Does were charged with murder in connection with the killing of 51-year-old Zenaida Luz before the Pinamalayan, Oriental Min-doro Municipal Trial Court Branch 42 upon recommendation from Provincial Prosecutor Josephine Caranzo-Olivar and Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Jennifer Marasigan-Uy last October 25, said Mayor.
The two officers were positively identified as the armed men who shot and killed Luz in front of her house in Bgy. Maligaya, Gloria town, at 11:40 p.m. last October 9. Both remained confined at the MMG Hospital in Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro under heavy police guard.
The PRO4-B director said that the two police officers, represented by their defense counsel, lawyer Zendy Villanueva, requested a preliminary investigation of their case and signed a waiver of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Calapan City.
“Pending the completion of the preliminary proceedings, they agreed to remain under the custody of the Gloria Municipal Police Station,” said the official.
Mayor said the two prosecutors, after a careful review and analysis of the information filed by the Gloria Municipal Police Station and the evidence on record, also found probable cause to indict Pimentel and Al-merañez for direct assault with multiple attempted homicide under Criminal Case No. 6846 with a recommended bailbond of P12,000 each.
Mayor said he has ordered Mindoro Oriental police director Senior Supt. Christopher C. Birung to see to it that the two will be closely guarded while recuperating from wounds they suffered after exchanging gunfire with members of the Gloria police who chased them after they killed Luz.
“We will transfer the two to the provincial jail as soon as there is a doctor’s clearance and there is an official court order. Right now, they are still recuperating from their wounds at the hospital where they are under a 24-hour guard,” Mayor said.
As of yesterday, the two policemen are yet to confess their motive behind the killing of Luz. However, it appears that the killing is not ‘drug-related’ since the victim is not in any way involved with illegal drug activities and her name is not included in the police watchlist.