Mayor to sue ‘fake witnesses’ over Escalante killings

BACOLOD CITY, May 23 (PNA) – Re-elected Mayor Melencio Yap of Escalante City in Negros Occidental will be filing countercharges against two former rebels who acted as witnesses to crimes that were allegedly masterminded by the official.
The countercharges are expected to be filed after election period ends on June 30, according to Yap’s legal counsel Danny Pondevilla.
Pondevilla said the respondent will use the statement of Roslyn Jean Pelle Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) denying the accusations of rebel returnees Evonie Baynosa and Irving Taberros.
Baynosa and Taberros previously executed a joint affidavit claiming that Yap, retired Major Arthur Tupas and Angel Sinadjan engineered the murders of Ferjun Damalerio and Joseph Lutrago sometime in 2007.
The three were also “principals by inducement and indispensable cooperation” in the frustrated murders of Fernando Damalerio, Roger Agaton and Valentino Pabon, according to them.
But Pondevilla said the statement of Roslyn Jean Command spokesman Cecil Estrella showed otherwise.
In her two-page statement released two weeks ago, Estrella disclosed that Baynosa and Taberros were expelled from the Partido Komunista and NPA for collaborating with the military.
Estrella, who described the two as “traitors”, slammed their “false statements” against the revolutionary movement.
She then denied that they were being used or controlled by Yap and any other politicians for that matter. She also added that they do not rely on politicians for their logistic needs.
The murder and frustrated murder charges against Yap were filed by Atty. Renecio Espiritu and are currently pending in City Prosecutor’s Office of Escalante City. (PNA)


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