Gunmen in Davao journalist's murder turn state witnesses
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The self-confessed gunman and his accomplice in the 2010 murder of a journalist in Davao del Sur have been tapped as state witnesses against former Davao del Sur governor Douglas Cagas and 4 others.
Self-confessed gunman Voltaire Mirafuentes and his brother Henry have been dropped as respondents in the murder case involving Nestor Bedolido, following a court order dated July 23.
The order of Judge Loida Posadas-Kahulugan granted the prosecution's motion to "drop and discharge" the Mirafuentes brothers as defendants in the case, following their admission into the Witness Protection Program.
They now stand as witnesses against Cagas, Matan-ao Mayor Vicente Fernandez, and 3 others.
Bedolido, former editor of weekly magazine Digos Times and a columnist of the Weekly Kastigador was murdered in June 2010.
Private Prosecutor Caesar Europa Jr said that in their affidavit, the Mirafuentes brothers alleged that the plot to kill Bedolido was hatched inside Cagas' house in Digos City in 2009. They claimed that Fernandez was among those who mapped out the plan.
The Mirafuentes brothers alleged that Cagas had led them to believe that Bedolido had "inspired" the fatal attack against their parents, who died after a grenade was lobbed at their residence. Cagas reportedly told them he would help them avenge their parents' death.
Europa said that after the 2010 elections, Cagas allegedly met with the brothers and "gave them firearms and a motorcycle to carry the revenge which led to the killing of Bedolido."
Cagas and Fernandez, who have denied involvement in the case, are currently detained. The other accused – Artemio Timosan, Ali Urdaneza, and Bado Sanches – remain at large. – Rappler.com