Life in jail without parole for brothers in ‘15 fatal hacking
 
Pandan, Catanduanes  ·  
posted 10-Feb-2019  ·  
710 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

A Pandan resident and his brother has been sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility of parole for the savage bolo murder of a neighbor three years ago.

The Regional Trial Court also ordered Raffy Valerio Sarmiento and his brother Venecito to pay the heirs of Romulo Eusebio the total sum of P205,000 as civil indemnity and various damages.

During the trial, it was found out that both Romulo and Raffy were at a birthday party on Nov. 6, 2015 when the former brought up past incidents involving Raffy which he said had already been settled.

Replying that they were not yet finished for him, Romulo stood up and allegedly said: “Pag natiyempuhan take, may paglalagyan ka.”

Seeing that he was about to be punched, Raffy stood up and boxed Romulo on the face, causing him to fall down.

After he went home, Romulo went back to confront Raffy at about 5 P.M. and was followed by his nephew Allan Rodriguez so the latter can pacify him.

Allan, however, was attacked with a piece of wood and a bolo by Noli Valerio and Venecito, with the wounded victim escaping from the area but not after seeing his uncle Romulo being hacked by Raffy and Venecito using a bolo and a spear out on the road in front of Raffy’s house.

Policemen who responded to the report later came upon the victim’s body already in the Sarmientos’ yard, bearing 13 hack and incised wounds on his head, face and arms, with his neck almost severed.

The lawmen also discovered that the body had been dragged into the yard from where the incident occurred eight meters away where a pool of blood mixed with brain matter was found. One of the investigators later testified that the nature of the victim’s wounds indicated that the suspect must have been so mad, “gigil na gigil.”

Raffy later surrendered to the police together with his bolo while Venecito was arrested a year later, with Noli Valerio still at large at the time the Court rendered its judgment on Jan. 28, 2019.

In his defense, Raffy claimed that it was Romulo who entered the Sarmientos’ yard carrying a bolo and that the victim chased him around the house three times before he (Raffy) managed to wrest it away. He then hacked Romulo using the latter’s bolo for a number of times.

On the other hand, Venecito alleged that he was at his parents’ house feeding the chickens when he saw Allan carrying a bolo. He also got a bolo and later came upon Allan and Noli grappling for the possession of the bolo.

Venecito said he hacked Allan on the left thumb and chased him before going to the swamp and later learning that Romulo had died.

RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras, however, found Raffy’s claim to be unworthy of belief. She noted that photographs of the crime scene and the investigators’ testimony showed that it occurred outside on the road near a coconut tree, as corroborated by a neighbor.

The Court also favored Allan’s testimony that he saw Venecito joining Raffy in hacking his uncle and pointed out that the injuries sustained by the victim showed that different weapons were used by the assailants.

It appreciated in the prosecution’s favor the aggravating circumstances of abuse of superior strength, aid of armed men, and cruelty in the death of Romulo.

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