Trial of King murder case reset

THE TRIAL of the self-confessed gunman of slain hotelier Richard King has been reset to April 23 and May 22, with Regional Trial Court branch 17 Judge Evalyn Morales citing “lack of material time.”

Paul Dave Molina Labang, aka Bulilit, 24, of Toril, Davao City is facing charges in violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

Labang confessed to the murder of King last year and was arrested in Maa in June 2014 for possession of a .45 caliber handgun.

The suspect has been identified by witnesses as King’s gunman, along with Rommel and Rodel dela Cerna, as well as former Philippine National Police Regional Intelligence Unit chief Leonardo Felonia.

Less than two weeks after the murder, the PNP immediately released a statement that the murder case had already been solved, after the creation of a major crimes unit handling the case.

In January this year, the City Prosecutor’s Office maintained that Felonia will still be indicted despite his motion for reconsideration.

On Dec. 1 last year, Regional Trial Court Branch 16 Judge Emmanuel Carpio granted the urgent motion to defer proceedings and issuance of Felonia’s warrant of arrest “with alternative urgent motion to deny the issuance of a warrant of arrest by reason of lack of probable cause.”

Carpio is handling Felonia’s case, after Morales inhibited from the case last year, citing that she was related to Sr. Insp. Arlyn E. Arellano, one of the witnesses provided by Felonia.

King was gunned down inside the Vital C Building at Sobrecarey Street, Obrero, on June 12, 2014.

Based on the police report, King was taking his dinner inside when a man shot him with a .45 caliber pistol.

The killer then walked to a parked motorcycle driven by another man.

Felonia has been placed on a six-month preventive suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman pending the resolution of the case.

Labang’s trial has been delayed before, after the prosecution was not able to have its witnesses present earlier this month.

Rommel Dela Cerna has confessed to being the lookout in the crime, while his brother Rodel drove the getaway motorcycle.

The PNP, in a statement, said the motive for the murder could be business-related.

Posted in under_HEADLINES3