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NBI files murder rap vs doctor over killing of retired CA justice Pizarro

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
NBI files murder rap vs doctor over killing of retired CA justice Pizarro
This undated image shows the late retired Court of Appeals Normandie Pizarro.
File photo

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation has filed a murder rap against a doctor in Pampanga over the brutal killing of retired Court of Appeals Justice Normandie Pizarro in 2020.

Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento confirmed to reporters that the NBI filed a murder complaint under Article 128 of the Revised Penal Code over the killing of Pizarro, who was reported missing late October 2020.

The NBI and Pizarro’s son filed the complaint against Ramon Pangan, a doctor residing in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Pizarro’s remains were discovered in Capas, Tarlac on October 30.

The NBI, in a report in December, said the body was found under a pile of leaves in a secluded quarry site in Barangay Lawy, Capas. The right hand had been cut off from his body, as had the fingers of his left hand.

Pizarro penned controversial rulings such as that clearing former Palawan governor Joel Reyes over the killing of environmentalist Gerry Ortega in January 2011; the acquittal of alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles in her serious illegal detention case and dismissal of the compensation claim of about 10,000 human rights victims from the Marcos estate.

He opted to retire ahead of his mandatory retirement in 2018.

In April 2018, the Supreme Court fined Pizarro fined Pizzaro for P100,000 following an anonymous complaint that accused him of "being a gambling addict who would allegedly lose millions of pesos in the casinos daily." 

The complaint

The NBI recommended the prosecution of Pangan for the murder of Pizarro, who was said to be last seen on October 23. His vehicle, a black Honda Accord, was found abandoned in Brgy. San Juan in San Simon, Pampanga.

A week later, Capas police received a report of a decomposing cadaver, which was brought to the Lotus Funeral Parlor in Tarlac.

“The cause of death was later identified as gunshot wound to the head, entry at the back of the head, exiting at the left temple,” the NBI said.

On Dec. 21, 2020, the NBI Forensic Chemistry Division’s DNA analysis report showed that the recovered cadaver was Pizarro's.

In filing the complaint, the NBI said a witness disclosed that Pizarro texted him about the unpaid cash loans of Pangan amounting to 90,000. The retired justice had also told the witness that he was working on a big case for the Pangans.

Pangan however denied any knowledge of Pizarro’s case.

But the NBI said Pangan’s “denials remain wanting and contrary to the pieces of evidence gathered by the [NBI-Special Task Force].”

The NBI also said they noted inconsistencies in Pangan’s sworn statement. Pangan had said he asked Pizarro to drop him off near Grotto in Bamban, Tarlac at around noon and he walked a few meters where he noticed mountains and boarded a jeepney with a signboard going to Mabalacat, Pampanga.

But the bureau said CCTV footage secured by its operatives showed "neither Dr. Pangan walked in the area near the mountains nor rode a jeepney with a signboard going to Mabalacat, Pampanga."

The NBI also said that from the time Pizarro’s car was sighted heading to Capas, Tarlac from 11:00 a.m. until it was seen traversing Bamban, heading to Mabalacat, Pampanga at around 12:29 p.m., CCTV footage did not show any jeepney on the road.

A full copy of the NBI complaint has yet to be made public, but a Manila Times report said Pangan made an extrajudicial confession as prepared by his lawyer and admitted that he planned the killing of the retired justice.

Prosecutor General Malcontento said they will send a summons to Pangan after the enhanced community quarantine in Manila would be lifted. The preliminary investigation will be handled Assistant State Prosecutor Mike Humarang and Associate Prosecution Attorney Grace Arboladura. — with reports from Christian Deiparine

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

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