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Suspect in Eriguel’s slay pleads not guilty

Jun Elias - The Philippine Star

AGOO, La Union, Philippines — The suspect in the murder of former La Union 2nd district representative Eufranio Eriguel pleaded not guilty during his arraignment at the Regional Trial Court Branch 32 here yesterday.

Felizardo Villanueva, alias Rambo, faces trial on four counts of murder, five counts of frustrated murder and one attempted murder.

Judge Ethelwolda Jaravata appointed a lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office to serve as Villanueva’s counsel.

Probers in Eriguel’s murder are looking into the possibility that Villanueva, a defeated candidate for barangay chairman, may become a state witness to speed up the investigation on the killings.

Villanueva allegedly served as guide of the gunmen and their lookout.

Rep. Sandra Eriguel, widow of the slain former lawmaker, said they would likely agree if  Villanueva becomes a state witness because he is vital in pointing to the mastermind of the crime.

The ex-lawmaker was gunned down by masked gunmen last May 12 in Barangay Capas, Agoo while speaking before candidates in the barangay elections. His two bodyguards and a supporter were also killed.

EUFRANIO ERIGUEL

MURDER

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