4 get life for Nasugbu LRA exec’s murder
Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - November 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Four men have been sentenced to life in prison for the killing of an official of the  Land Registration Authority in Tagaytay City in 2013.

Jun Villamor, Julius Capongcol, Mark Anthony Villanueva and Arwin Bio were found guilty of the murder of lawyer Reynaldo Aquino, registrar of deeds in Nasugbu, Batangas.

In a ruling issued on Nov. 8, Cavite Regional Trial Court Branch 18 Judge Jaime Santiago also sentenced the four  to 10 to 17 years for frustrated murder after the gun attack left Aquino’s driver Edgar Estuista  wounded.

Capongol and Villamor, who were identified as the gunmen, were also convicted of violating the election gun ban and sentenced to another three to six years in prison.

The convicts were ordered to pay P225,000 in civil, moral and exemplary damages to Estuista and P300,000 to Aquino’s heirs.

Aquino was in his car when the assailants on two motorcycles shot him near Magallanes Square, a commercial center in the city.

“The presence of mind and their well-coordinated and prompt assistance is commendable… Their synchronized acts propelled by police instinct led to the immediate arrest of the authors of the crimes,” Judge Jaime Santiago said in his ruling, referring to responding police officers who also served as witnesses against the accused.

The court said the denial of the accused of their involvement in the ambush “did not stir the court’s consideration” due to inconsistencies in their alibi.

Police had earlier said the accused are guns-for-hire and that the motive for the killing was likely related to Aquino’s work. The motive for the murder is unclear and the mastermind has not been identified.

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