Charges filed vs. son and cohort in mother’s slay

By: Izobelle T. Pulgo November 03,2016 - 11:06 PM

HE was tagged by police as the one responsible for bludgeoning his own mother to death on All Saints’ Day.

Persistent in his denial, his claims have been backed by family members who said that they could not believe that 38-year-old Jonieto Lapatha could have a hand in his mother’s cold-blooded murder.

But a complaint for parricide was nonetheless filed against Lapatha at the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday.

His neighbor and alleged accomplice, Joshua Ortiz, who named him as the one who dealt the fatal blows, was also charged with murder.

Wearing neon-colored orange prison uniforms as they were being led along the dimly-lighted corridors of the Fernan Hall of Justice building and into the prosecutors’ office, the faces of Lapatha and Ortiz were grim as they walked handcuffed together side-by-side.

According to SPO4 Roger Negamo, Pardo Police Station investigator, Ortiz was assisted by private lawyer Jose Lim when he executed an extrajudicial confession while Lapatha still had to find a lawyer.

Under the law, a confession made outside the court must be done in the presence of a lawyer, otherwise it cannot be admitted as evidence in court.

However, Negamo explained that it would now be up to the court to decide whether or not Ortiz could be used as a state witness to testify against Lapatha.

With the charges against the two suspects docketed, Negamo said that they will know by today who among the city fiscals will handle the complaint.

Police arrested Lapatha last Monday evening, after he was accused by his neighbor, Ortiz, of killing his mother, 73-year-old Milagros Lapatha, inside an abandoned house in Barangay Cogon-Pardo, Cebu City.

Alleged to have been a shabu and nubain user for about two decades already, police said Lapatha hit his mother with a piece of wood before finishing her off by hitting her head with a rock, according to Ortiz.

Thereafter, Lapatha reportedly took P32,000 of his mother’s money and used it to pay for his drug debts.

Ortiz claimed that his participation in the crime was only to tie the victim’s hands with a plastic straw.

Coming to his defense, Lapatha’s father, Nelson, said that after a careful examination of what had happened, they realized that his son could not have killed his own mother.

The 66-year-old father said his son was innocent and he believed everything that Jonieto told him.

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TAGS: All saints day, All souls day, cases, Cebu CIty Prosecutor’s Office, Investigation, Jonieto, Jonieto Lapatha, Lapatha, Murder, nubain, Pardo Police Station, parricide, Prosecutor, shabu

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