Panel formed to conduct probe into cases filed vs Cadungog, Macaslang
THE Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office will form a panel that will conduct the preliminary investigation on the cases filed against Barangay Tejero Councilman Jessielou Cadungog and his bodyguard in connection with the shooting to death of PO3 Eugene Calumba last Monday.
Cebu City Prosecutor Liceria Lofranco-Rabillas said the panel will consolidate all cases filed by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-7) and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7) against Cadungog and William Macaslang Jr.
“This because it involves the same parties and it arose out in the same incident,” Rabillas said.
Macaslang was charged with homicide by the regional office of the National Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday, after he admitted shooting the policeman in self-defense. Macaslang and Cadungog are under the custody of the NBI.
On the other hand, CIDG-7 filed separate charges of murder and attempted murder against Macaslang and Cadungog.
All these cases arose from the alleged attempt on the life of Cadungog, which led to the death of the police officer who was on board a motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle, who is a police asset was not hit.
Macaslang had earlier said he saw the police officer on board a motorcycle driven by a certain Michael Banua. The two allegedly went near his vehicle and he saw Calumba pull out a gun, forcing him to fire.
Cadungog, who owns the Toyota FJ Cruiser boarded by Macaslang, said he asked his driver to drop him off near the Tejero barangay hall and was not in the car by the time the incident happened.
However, the CIDG-7 presented three witnesses, Banua, one other person and a minor who testified that they saw Cadungog inside the vehicle when his driver gunned down Calumba along T. Padilla Extension in Cebu City, which was vehemently denied by the councilman.
“This is not the first time nga naay controversial cases nga gi-file sa amo. I am confident that the panel is very much able to resolve,” Rabillas said.
Three prosecutors, Deputy Prosecutor Ma. Theresa Casiño, Senior Assistant Prosecutor Gandhi Truya and Assistant Prosecutor Maria Liza Miscala-Jorda, will form the investigating panel.
Lawyer Benjamin Militar, counsel of the two accused, welcomed the preliminary investigation.
“We welcome the development. Since he voluntarily surrendered already and gave up to the authorities, regular preliminary investigation should be allowed og dili magdali-dali ba,” Militar said.
Militar, however, said they will continue to file a complaint for attempted murder and illegal possession of firearms against Banua, the driver of the motorcycle.
“We hope it will be taken up also by the panel,” Militar added.
Meanwhile, the Police Regional Director, Chief Supt. Debold Sinas said the presence of similar tattoos on Calumba and Banua have no bearing to the case, as he denied any knowledge about the meaning of the tattoos.
“I do not know why they are making this an issue. I don’t know what’s the relevance of the tattoo (to this case),” said Sinas.
Speculations that the barcode tattoo found on the wrist of Calumba and Banua could indicate that they belong to an organized assassin group.
“Anyone can have the same tattoo with another person. This is not surprising since they know each other,” said Sinas. He said Calumba and Banua were neighbors in Negros Oriental.
The police are now in the process of determining the identities of the mob that beat up Banua.
Sinas said the cause of death of Calumba was loss of blood as the gunshot wound was not fatal.
“But because of loss of blood. Calumba only sustained a gunshot wound below his right armpit. Banua tried to save Calumba but people mobbed him. And there were even people who kicked Calumba according to our witnesses,” he said.
Sinas said that Calumba would have been alive now if Banua was able to bring him to the hospital. /with Senior Reporter Ador S. Mayol
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