Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Acosta on Tuesday lauded a lower court in Taguig City for the acquittal of a suspected New People’s Army member for frustrated murder and murder for lack of evidence.
“The wheels of justice had rolled toward truth and rule of law,” she told the Manila Standard
Acosta led the PAO’s Special Public Attorney’s Team handling the criminal raps filed against Maria Miradel Torres of Gabriela “in her defense when the case was still being tried in the regional trial court, Infanta, Quezon.”
“The woman, who was then a nursing mother when arrested, was acquitted,” Acosta said.
The cases were then transferred to Branch 153 Judge Mariam Bien of the Taguig City Regional Trial Court.
Torres, along with her supposed live-in partner Romeo Pasoot Jr., armed with a gun, allegedly attacked and shot patrolmen first class Ronald Bamba and Fernando Lopez in Purok Little Baguio, Barangay Magsaysay, Infanta, Quezon on March 17, 2012.
Bamba survived the attack, while Lopez died instantaneously.
Torres denied being an NPA member or “any armed rebel group with an aim to fight against the Philippine government,” saying “she had no experience of holding and using a gun as she is a simple housewife.”
She claimed she was home in Biñan, Laguna when the attack happened, and that she was just a member of the Gabriela women’s group.
“Wherefore, premises considered this court hereby ACQUITS accused Maria Miradel Torres y Ramos @ Madel Torres @ Alex/Sydney and accused Romeo Pasoot Jr. @ Gab/Alice/Glenda of the crimes charged for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Their IMMEDIATE RELEASE from detention is hereby ordered unless there are other lawful causes warranting their continued confinement,” the judge’s July 22 order read.
Bien ordered the warden of the Metro Manila District Jail to implement the release of the two accused.