With charges filed vs 'John Does', Palawan lawyer's murder deemed 'solved'

(Philstar.com) - November 30, 2020 - 3:24pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police on Monday said the murder case of Palawan lawyer Eric Jay Magcamit who was killed on November 17 is now deemed solved.

In a virtual briefing, Police Brig. Gen. Pascual Muñoz Jr. — police regional director of Mimaropa — said they looked into a land dispute as the motive behind the killing of Magcamit in Narra town in Palawan.

READ: Palawan lawyer killed on his way to hearing

“We filed six [cases] plus six 'John Doe's, including [shooter], driver of van, lookouts, possible [shooter] from the van, possible person inside the van,” Muñoz said partly in Filipino.

John Doe is a placeholder name for unidentified people.

He said that, in the course of their investigation, police have recovered video from Magcamit’s vehicle and CCTV footage from areas where his killers stayed before they shot Magcamit.

The STAR earlier reported that Marcelino Quioyo, believed to be the brains behind the killing, surrendered to authorities last week, citing fear for his life. He was placed in police custody.

Muñoz explained that Magcamit serves as the lawyer of the Hermogenes family, which Quioyo’s family is involved in a dispute with. He said they received complaints that the two groups of families have been involved in strafing and stoning houses in recent months.

The police also arrested one of its own, Police SSgt. Ariel Pareja, who was said to have been with Quioyo during hearings. Muñoz earlier said Pareja was "moonlighting as a bodyguard for Quioyo, who is involved in a court case over a land dispute where Magcamit is representing the other party."

Supplemental complaints have since been filed against Quioyo, Pareja and the driver of the vehicle. Muñoz said they are verifying whether the driver is a former personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The police director said they are still working on identifying and arresting the gunman, but said they already have a person of interest.

An administrative complaint has also been filed against Pareja.

Magcamit was killed in broad daylight while he was on his way to a hearing. His death added to the more than 50 lawyers who were killed since the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. — Kristine Joy Patag

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