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Nation

Supreme Court upholds Pacificador bodyguards’ conviction

- Pia Lee-Brago -
The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the conviction of five former bodyguards of Antique Assemblyman Arturo Pacificador for multiple murder of supporters of Antique Gov. Evelio Javier in 1984.

In a 44-page decision, the High Court ruled that the conviction of the bodyguards of Pacificador for an election-related attack on seven supporters of Javier on May 13, 1984 was a right decision.

Those convicted were S/Sgt. Domingo Dalmacio, Corporal 2nd Class Reynaldo Alipala, Patrolman First Class Vicente Vegafria, Corporal Hector Fullon and Patrolman Lorenzo Mingote.

A sixth bodyguard, Sgt. Enrico Cabanero, already died in jail in 1996 before a sentence was reached.

"The treacherous manner by which accused-appellants perpetrated the crime was shown not only by the sudden and unexpected attack upon the unsuspecting victims but also by the deliberate manner in which the attack was perpetrated," the High Court said.

Pacificador, a known ally of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was among those initially charged in the multiple murder case. However, he was acquitted last year by Antique Judge Neri Duremdez who noted the prosecutors’ failure to prove that the former lawmaker "conspired" with his bodyguards.

Pacificador, though, is still detained in the Antique provincial jail for his alleged involvement in the killing of Javier, a staunch supporter of former President Corazon Aquino, who toppled Marcos from power. The case filed against him is pending before the lower courts.

ANTIQUE ASSEMBLYMAN ARTURO PACIFICADOR ANTIQUE GOV ANTIQUE JUDGE NERI DUREMDEZ CLASS REYNALDO ALIPALA CORPORAL HECTOR FULLON AND PATROLMAN LORENZO MINGOTE DOMINGO DALMACIO ENRICO CABANERO EVELIO JAVIER HIGH COURT PACIFICADOR
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