Suspected vigilante sued for murder

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 January) — The City Prosecution Office indicted an electrician, whose pistol was linked to eight incidents of summary killings in the city, for the death of a 42-year-old man in Barangay Sto. Nino, Tugbok District on Aug. 20, 2010.

Prosecutor Joseph Mamburam charged alias Jojo Putot for murder based on the complaint and evidences submitted by police officer Antonio Pino. Authorities last year filed eight complaints of murder against Putot and his companion Ruden Labe based on ballistics tests that traced the firearm used in the crimes to them.

Mamburam, however, said he was only handling the case against Putot and that he did not know the whereabouts of Labe.

“Kung unsa ang nasa resolution naku mao ra to (Whatever is in my resolution, that’s it),” he said.

Pino’s complaint said witness Danilo Saito saw Putot approach the victim, Tata Tomas, and shoot him in the head before fleeing on board an XRM motorcycle with his accomplice.

Saito described the accused as 5’2” in height and medium built. The investigator found a .45 caliber shell at the crime scene.

Supt. Igmedio Garcia reported that the .45 caliber pistol with serial number BBO 1373 seized from Becerra, who was arrested in Matina Aplaya on Nov. 4, matched the spent shells recovered from eight different crime scenes from January to October last year based on the ballistic examination they conducted.

“The cartridges used in these incidents from January until November were tested positive with the fired cartridge of the .45 caliber pistol recovered from the possession of Becerra. So, we encourage witnesses to these incidents to come out in the open and give their testimony so that we can file murder charges in court against the respondent,” Senior Supt. Rene Aspera, director of the Davao City Police Office said.

Putot and Labe are facing illegal possession of firearms but they have been released on bail.

Putot is also facing a case of frustrated murder before the Regional Trial Court Branch 14.

The two suspects might have pending cases too of attempted murder before the Regional Trial Court Branch 14.

A source said Putot, identified as Jose Becerra Jr., and Ruden Labe could be the same alias Jojo Putot and alias Dodong Pangit tagged in a complaint filed by Gilbert Sahol alias Bulhog, who was shot and hit in the shoulder in Barangay 76-A, in March last year.

The source, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the case, said the case could not move forward because the complainant appeared to have gone into hiding.

Judge George Omelio already issued an arrest warrant for Dodong Pangit and Jojo Putot. He also recommended a P120,000 bail for each of the accused. (MindaNews)