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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 15, 2016
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No ruling on murder raps MR yet

Rep. Melecio Yap (Neg., Occ., 1 st District) yesterday said he has filed a consolidated motion for reconsideration before the Office of the Ombudsman for the dismissal of its murder and frustrated murder cases against him for lack of basis and failure to establish probable cause.

   The Office of the Ombudsman posted on its website yesterday that it has found probable cause to indict Yap and 15 others for the deaths of his alleged political opponents in 2007 to 2010.

They will face trial for four counts of murder and one count of frustrated murder, the Ombudsman's press release said.

Investigation found that all five victims were known supporters of a former political rival of Yap, it added.

 In its consolidated resolution, the Ombudsman gave credence to the testimonies of witnesses, who disclosed that Yap supplied the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army command its logistical needs and alleged that Yap exercised considerable influence over the command, the press release said.

“The sworn statement (by witnesses) is given the presumption of credibility absent any showing that they are motivated by ill-will,” the resolution said.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said “this Office is inclined to believe that the motive for these crimes was political.”

Yap, who was the mayor of Escalante City in Negros Occidental when the complaints were filed, yesterday said the Ombudsman has yet to rule on his motion for reconsideration.

The MR asked if numerous complainants suddenly filed against Yap for serious crimes which happened years ago before the May 2013 elections were not politically motivated.

It is ironic that in their complaint-affidavits, the relatives of the victims claimed that the incidents happened because of politics as they were on the other side of the political fence, the MR said.

Could it be also true that cases were filed by them against Yap because of political consideration even if they have no solid evidence to show the participation of Yap in the incidents? the MR asked.

The findings of probable cause against Yap were established by insufficient evidence and violations of established jurisprudence, it said.

It also said the consolidated resolution against Yap does not mention a logical or factual circumstance which would establish that he was part of the conspiracy in committing the alleged crimes, the motion for reconsideration added. *CPG



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