THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) dismissed the murder complaint against three policemen and several others in connection with the May 11, 2018 killing of Quezon City Deputy City Prosecutor Rogelio A. Velasco.
In a 36-page resolution dated May 8, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter L. Ong said the evidence submitted by the complainants were insufficient to charge Police Senior Master Sergeant Rodante S. Lalimarmo, Police Staff Sergeant Arthur Y. Lucy, and Patrolman Jose L. Mercado.
“After a careful review and evaluation of the evidence submitted by the parties, the undersigned finds complainants’ evidence insufficient to charge all respondents of murder,” the resolution read.
The prosecution said that some facts and circumstances of the complainants were “unbelievable, untrue, and contradictory.”
The prosecution cited that in the closed-circuit television footages (CCTV) at the parking area along Elliptical Road submitted by the National Bureau of Investigation, the face of the man who was alleged to be Mr. Mercado is unclear.
The DoJ noted that the complaint indicated that the murder of Mr. Velasco stemmed from his disagreement with Mr. Mercado when the prosecutor indicted the police’s brother from a bailable offense to a non-bailable offense.
“Complainants should not rely on speculations and conjectures to support their case. Mere speculations and probabilities substitute for proof required to establish the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt,” the DoJ said.
The prosecution also dismissed the complaint against seven unidentified respondents, saying they were involved in the CCTV footages where the supposed suspect’s face was unclear.
It also dismissed the complaint against another unidentified respondent as her mere presence at the Quezon City Hall is not enough proof that she conspired with the killing.
Mr. Velasco was ambushed last May 11, 2018 in Barangay Holy Spirit in Quezon City. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas