Ex-Scout Ranger convicted for killing own brother in 2011
posted 28-Oct-2019  ·  
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Circumstantial evidence was enough for the Regional Trial Court to find a former Army Scout Ranger guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder for shooting to death his own brother in 2011.

RTC Branch 42 Presiding Judge Genie G. Gapas-Agbada sentenced Domingo Ternida Tablo to reclusion perpetua, which carries with it the accessory penalty of prohibition from holding political office.

Tablo was also ordered to pay the heirs of the victim the sums of P75,000 as civil indemnity, P75,000 as moral damages, P75,000 as exemplary damages, and P65,100 as actual damages.

Evidence presented by the prosecution showed that in March 2011, Maximino, then 42, and his wife Cielo, told his elder brother of their plan to expand their computer business on the lot in Constantino where Domingo had a sari-sari store.

Domingo refused and said, “Ay dae yan pwede, Magkasaralvage kamo. Magsuruntukan kaming magtugang.”

The disagreement was later settled before the barangay captain, with Domingo promising to stop making death threats against the couple.

On June 5, 2011, a witness recalled, the accused told their brother Valentino, “Dai ko na kakayanon ang ugali ni Mino. Sobra na sya. Tutumbahon ko na ang tugang tang an.”

Two days later, Domingo’s wife Jean approached Maximino regarding the ricefield that they mortgaged to Maximino, telling him that he will no longer receive a share in the harvest and that he would only be paid P5,000. Maximino disagreed.

On June 9, 2011, after dropping off Cielo at her work at Abella’s Pawnshop at 9 A.M., the VIWAD chlorinating attendant went to the reservoir at Padurog.

When her husband failed to come home at noon and could not be reached through his cellphone, Cielo decided to go to Padurog and passed by Domingo sitting beside his store, perspiring and looking at a distance. When she looked at him, he just lowered his head.

When she found her husband’s motorcycle still parted near the trail to the reservoir, she directed two boys to look for her husband. Cielo and three VIWAD employees climbed to Padurog where they found Maximino’s cap at the trail along with blood spots leading to the spot where his body was placed in a small depression and covered with dried leaves. SOCO operatives found a Cal. 45 shell lying amidst the bloodstains five meters away.

The body of Maximino, who was shot four times, was brought to Constantino and while all of his siblings and relatives cried in grief, Domingo just drove away in his vehicle. He never visited the wake of his brother and did not attend his funeral.

Ballistic tests later proved that the shell was fired by a gun registered in Domingo’s name but the latter alleged that the firearm was lost when he arrived from Negros Occidental sometime in May 2011.

When the complaint was filed against him, Domingo went to Negros Occidental where his wife’s family resides.

Acting on reports claiming that the fugitive was hiding in Daga, Cadiz City, Cielo sought the help of Cadiz City jail warden Inspector Alexander Sy, who coordinated with Bacolod City Police Station 5 chief Senior Inspector Ritchie Gohee.

Gohee searched the Facebook page of Domingo’s elder daughter and learned from the pictures posted there that he lived in Barangay 35, with the officer and six other lawmen grabbing Tablo while he was refueling at a gas station sometime in April 2011.

During the trial, the accused maintained that he could not kill his youngest brother and that they had a good relationship, despite the trivial dispute regarding the store he constructed in front of Maximino’s house.

The Court was not convinced and stated there was more than one circumstance to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt that Domingo killed his own brother.

While it ruled that the prosecution was not able to prove evident premeditation, treachery, and abuse of superior strength on the part of the accused in killing Maximino, the Court noted that the crime was committed in an uninhabited place and that the accused intended to conceal the corpus delicti of the crime by hiding his brother’s dead body behind a pile of dried bamboo and banana leaves.

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