NBI files murder raps vs doctor over Pizarro slay

Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - April 6, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed murder charges against a physician for allegedly killing retired Court of Appeals justice Normandie Pizarro.

The NBI Special Task Force lodged a murder case against Dr. Ramon Tayag Pangan, who admitted that he conspired to kill Pizarro.

The complaint was filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on March 22, NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin confirmed to The STAR yesterday.

According to the complaint, Pangan denied the charges in his earlier affidavit. But the NBI found inconsistencies in his narrative of events before Pizarro’s decaying body was found in Tarlac in October last year.

Pangan was last seen with Pizarro before the retired justice disappeared.

The respondent told investigators that he had gotten out of Pizarro’s vehicle in Bamban, Tarlac and rode a jeepney.

But closed-circuit television footage checked by the NBI did not show Pangan boarding a jeepney, the complaint read.

Pangan confessed to the crime on Dec. 11, 2020 “after being haunted by his conscience,” according to the complaint.

He coordinated with the NBI to reenact the crime scene, which showed his knowledge of how the justice was killed and proved his presence during the murder, the NBI said.

“He knew the manner of the killing, the position of the cadaver and the place where the body and vehicle were dumped. Taken all together, his knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the killing of Associate Justice Pizarro is certain and categorical, proving his involvement in the killing,” the complaint read.

The NBI dismissed Pangan’s claim that he was forced by three other suspects to drive Pizarro to Tarlac.

Pangan also failed to identify the suspects.

“His claim was a mere excuse to escape criminal liability,” the NBI said.

The killing was premeditated because Pangan “befriended” the justice “to gain his trust,” the NBI added.

Two witnesses also told the NBI that Pangan owed Pizarro P90,000.

Pangan issued an extrajudicial confession to the investigators, according to the NBI.

Pizarro’s decomposing remains were found in Barangay Lawy, Tarlac on Oct. 30, 2020. His right and left hand fingers were chopped off. The justice died of a gunshot to the head, according to authorities.

Pizarro had ordered the release of former Palawan governor Joel Reyes in connection with the murder of broadcaster Gerry Ortega.

He also penned the reversal of the illegal detention conviction of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and the rejection of the grant of $2-billion compensation to martial law victims who had won a class suit in Hawaii.

The DOJ has formed a two-man panel of prosecutors to handle the preliminary investigation on the killing of Pizarro.

“The case was assigned to Assistant State Prosecutor Mike Humarang and Associate Prosecution lawyer Mary Grace Arboladura,” DOJ Prosecutor Benedicto Malcontento said.

Malcontento said they would summon Pangan once the enhanced community quarantine is lifted. – Evelyn Macairan

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