Joe Osabal, wife acquitted from Matamorosa killing
By Jonas Cabiles Soltes
In a 47-page decision, a Naga City court absolved broadcaster Jufre “Joe” Osabal and his wife Jocely from murder following the gunning in October 2012 of then Mayor Raul M. Matamorosa of Lupi, Camarines Sur.
The exoneration of the veteran radio broadcaster and his wife, who was also the vice mayor of Lupi town that time, ended a Court battle that stretched for almost a decade.
Among the reasons cited by Regional Trial Court Branch 61 presided by Judge Soliman M. Santos Jr in its decision acquitting Joe Osabal was the broadcaster’s financial incapacity to engage in a contract killing.
“At any rate, accused Jufre Osabal can be believed when he says ‘I do not have one million pesos’,” said the ruling.
The court also doubted the testimony of the witness that implicated Joe Osabal in the Matamorosa murder.
In its decision, the court also emphasized that it did not see in accused Jocely Osabal sufficient motive “to have the last-term Mayor Raul M. Matamorosa killed.”
“It does not also seem to this court to be in character as far as she is concerned,” the decision added.
The Osabal spouses, in March 2015, personally appeared to the Regional Trial Court Branch 23, also in Naga City, to face the case against them to once and for all clear their names.