3 militant party-list members accused of murder

Bayan Muna members Joni Sarabia, Ronald Bacanto, and Antolin Orbino, all of North Cotabato, were accused of killing Carlito Getrosa, who was a relative or a close associate of the accused. Getrosa was a resident of Barangay Midpapan-Dos in Pigcawayan North Cotabato and was killed on March 11 this year.

Bayan Muna provincial chairperson, Bebiano Gabo, said the charges were fabricated to harass his group, saying that even the alleged complainant, Getrosa’s mother, Alicia, has also expressed surprise why her name was listed as the alleged complainant.

“It surprised us to know that such complaint was filed by Carlito’s mother, Alicia, who also got the shock of her life when she knew she was the complainant,” Gabo said. He claimed that Alicia’s signature in the complaint sheet was forged and alleged that a barangay official could be behind it.

According to Gabo, there was a variance in Alicia’s signatures that appeared in the affidavit and in her cedula or residence certificate. “Alicia can not recollect any instance that she was made to sign a document as regards her son’s death.  She was just as surprise as we were when the complaint sheet came out,” Gabo said.

The Bayan Muna said it was plain harassment saying that the accused were relatives or a close friend. Sarabia is Carlito’s cousin, Bacanto is his uncle, and Antolin, his cumpadre.

Getrosa was shot to death on March 11 while having a drinking session with friends outside his house in Barangay Midpapan-Dos in Pigcawayan. 

The sworn affidavits of the witnesses made by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in North Cotabato said that they saw the suspects came out of Alicia’s house after they heard the shots.

One of the purported witnesses reportedly heard Sarabia as saying that, “Dali na kamo, sibat na ta, tapos na si Carling. (Let’s all hurry. We’ll get out here, Carling’s already dead.)”

Bayan Muna has questioned the credibility of the witnesses. “Why will do such horrible act?   And why would we cry for justice if, indeed, we were behind the killing?  That’s absurd,” Gabo said.