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Homicide filed vs Amo’s killer

By Mar S. Arguelles

LEGAZPI CITY --- Government prosecutors on Tuesday (Nov. 13) downgraded the charges of murder to homicide against the suspect that stabbed to death Philippine Star and Bicol Mail correspondent Celso Amo inside a covered court in Daraga, Albay.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Daraga town filed on Monday afternoon before the Provincial Prosecutors Office in Albay murder charges against Adam Johnson Abames, the suspect in the killing of Amo.

Atty. Maria Miranda Gojar, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor in Albay, however, said that after reviewing the case by the duty inquest prosecutors, the latter recommended that the crime of homicide be filed instead of murder.

The inquest prosecutor established that the Philippine National Police (PNP) failed to prove other elements that could warrant the filing of murder charges against the suspect.

A homicide charges would allow the suspect to post bail of P120,000.00 for his temporary liberty.

Police Supt. Benito Dipad, PNP Daraga town police chief, in an interview said prosecutors during the case review found that the police, despite a written affidavit, was not able to present a key witness.

Dipad said the witness, who is a resident of Pili, Camarines Sur, returned to his hometown after executing an affidavit on that same day.

He said the witness’ testimony, as well as his appearance, were very vital in the case since the witness’ sworn statement disclosed that prior to the stabbing incident there was a heated argument between the victim and the suspect.

The testimony reportedly reveals that after the heated argument, the victim while about to leave the basketball court was stabbed in the back by the suspect with a 12-inch knife, followed by more deadly thrusts in other parts of the victim’s body.

The police chief said he would get in touch with the key witness immediately, who, according to him, is willing to appear before an inquest proceeding and cooperate with the authorities.

He said a supplemental affidavit would be submitted in the hope that the case be again elevated to murder.

Meanwhile, the National Union Journalists of the Philippines-Albay chapter issued a statement that expressed sadness over the senseless killing of the victim.

“Though his death was not related to his work, still we’re crying for immediate justice,” the NUJP Albay chapter’s plea to government authorities here stated.

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