Judge in murder cases v Cagas, others inhibits

THE SECOND Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge assigned to the murder case against former Davao del Sur governor Douglas Ra. Cagas and former Matanao mayor Vicente Fernandez for the death of a broadcaster has inhibited from the case.

Judge  Magnolia Velez voluntarily inhibited herself from the case as she and the wife of Cagas, Davao del Sur First Rep. Mercedes C. Cagas, are related by affinity, said lawyer Caesar Europa, legal counsel of the family of Nestor Bedolido, the victim.

Europa said the inhibition of Velez will eventually result in the elevation of the case before the Supreme Court because the RTC has only two judges in the province. It will be the High Court which will assign the case to any of the RTC judges.

Aside from the two former officials, others charged with murder for Bedolido’s death were Bado Sanchez and Ali Ordaneza.  The charges were the result of the confession of Voltaire S. Mirafuentes, the self-confessed triggerman who surrendered to the police four months after the killing.

Before it was assigned to Velez, RTC Branch 19 Judge  Carmelita Davin also inhibited herself from the case.

Cagas, who has maintained innocence, surrendered to the police last month after the arrest warrant was served against him.

Based on police records, a gunman shot Bedolido six times outside a karaoke bar in Digos City on June 29, 2010.

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