DOJ starts hearings on Batuan, Masbate mayor slay case

MANILA – State prosecutors on Monday started the preliminary investigation on the criminal complaints against Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Sandra Cam and several others over the killing of Batuan, Masbate Vice Mayor Charlie Yuson III.

Lawyer Juan Pablo Tumbali, counsel for Cam and her son Marco Martin, told the prosecutors that they are set to file a counter-affidavit to answer the allegations implicating them in the crime on the next scheduled hearing date on March 16.

Five other respondents in the case failed to appear during Monday’s hearing, namely, Nelson Cambaya, Junel Gomez, Bradford Solis, Juanito De Luna, and Rigor dela Cruz.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to provide the panel with the updated addresses of the five respondents so subpoenas can be sent and compel them to appear in preliminary investigation hearings.

Navera told the NBI that Solis and Luna were previously arrested by the Manila police back in October 2019.

Yuson’s widow Lalaine, his brother Charlie Jr. and Rufino Alforte filed murder and frustrated murder complaints against the seven respondents before the Department of Justice (DOJ) last February 21.

The vice mayor was killed in Sampaloc, Manila on October 9, 2019, while he was having breakfast with some companions at an eatery in the area.

The victim was in Manila to visit Charlie Jr. who is a barangay official in Manila.

Cam previously denied Lalaine’s allegations that the former was behind the killing.

She claimed that she only got dragged into the issue since her son ran and lost against the victim’s son, Charmax, in the 2019 mayoral elections in Batuan. (PNA)