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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, May 15, 2019
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4 cops, 2 others face murder raps


Four police officers and two other civilians, including a lawyer, are facing murder and frustrated murder charges in court, for the ambush of a woman lawyer and the death of her companion December 21 last year, in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.

Complainant-lawyer Erfe del Castillo survived despite her injuries. But her fiancé, Efren Palmares Jr., a former policeman, did not survive.

The respondents in the murder and frustrated murder charges are Catherine Berioso-Cabuga, alias Ka Brios, Lawyer Jose Max Ortiz, PLt. Col. Ritchie Yatar, PO3 Ronald Ortiz, SPO2 Joshua Barile, P/Ins. James Adrian Albaytar and John Doe.

No bail was recommended by the Talisay City Prosecutor’s Office against the six respondents for murder charges, while P200,000 was recommended for each of them for frustrated murder.

But the Talisay City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the complaints for murder and frustrated murder against respondents PCol. Francisco Ebreo, former Bacolod City Police Office chief, Dolly Yasa, Shirley Berioso and Caselyn Berioso-Ortiz for lack of probable cause.

It said it also finds sufficient grounds to engender a well-founded belief that the crimes of murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, qualified by treachery, evident premeditation, and with aid of armed men, and frustrated murder have been committed and the respondents, PO3 Ortiz, Albaytar, Yatar, Barile, Ortiz, Catherine Cabuga,and John Doe, through conspiracy, are probably guilty and should be held for trial.

Ortiz, who is the counsel of Catherine Cabuga, had earlier strongly denied the allegations against him. Other respondents could not be reached for comment, as of this writing.

Complainant del Castillo suffered multiple injuries secondary to gunshot wounds during the incident, court records show.*


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