Ex-NPA found guilty of attempted murder
posted 27-Jan-2019  ·  
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A former member of the New People’s Army (NPA) who returned to civilian life was meted four years of imprisonment for hacking a fisherman in Panganiban town in 2017.

The Regional Trial Court found Joseph Lopez Luna, also known as “Ka Jonas” and “Ran-Ran”, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of attempted murder, and sentenced him to a jail term of four months and one day as minimum to four years and two months as maximum.

He was also ordered by RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras to pay the victim, Michael Nuñez, the amount of P30,000 as moral damages and P10,000 as temperate damages.

The victim had testified having incurred P100,000 in hospitalization expenses but failed to present documentary evidence.

During the trial, Luna testified that he had known Nuñez since 2008 when he started living at sitio Kabacungan in barangay Cagdarao.

Their good relationship soured in 2014 when Luna was not able to pay his P2,000 loan to Nuñez, who let his house when Luna went there.

The suspect then went to Nuñez’s grandparents and offered to butcher a pig, half of which he would give to Michael as payment and they agreed.

After giving the half to the Michael’s grandpa, Luna learned later that Michael disposed of the meat to their neighbors on credit, with the latter telling him after a week to collect the payment from their neighbors and to remit the P2,000 to him.

When Joseph responded that Michael should be the one to collect as he had already received half the pig, the latter became angry at him.

Aside from an incident at a “tupada” where Michael got mat at and wanted to punch Joseph over a bet, it was only on April 30, 2017 at 11 A.M. that they encountered each other.

Luna was attending a fiesta celebration at the sitio together with his son when on their way home, they chanced upon Nuñez having a drinking spree at a fenced compound.

He claimed that Michael stood up, tried to draw something from his waist. Joseph immediately put his son on the other side of the road and when he turned his head, Michael was already attacking him with the bolo.

They grappled for the bladed weapon, which Luna managed to seize and used to hack Nuñez across his back and when the victim stood up, at the back of the head.

Nuñez, however, claimed that it was the suspect who entered the compound and attacked him without warning and this allegation was backed by witness Nico Bruma, who said he was beside the victim when the incident occurred.

The Court, however, favored the suspect’s testimony based on the location of the wound on the victim’s left shoulder as it is consistent with a wound inflicted by a right-handed person facing an opponent.

Despite concluding that it was Michael who came out of the gate and attacked Joseph, the Court did not appreciate the justifying circumstance of self-defense as Joseph did not need to hack Michael at the back of the head as he was already disarmed and fleeing.

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