Reclusion perpetua for killer of Virac fish vendors
posted 3-Nov-2019  ·  
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Nine years after two Virac fish vendors were hacked to death along a lonely road in Baras, the lone suspect in the gruesome robbery-murder has been sentenced to reclusion perpetua.

The Regional Trial Court also ordered Domingo Ogalinola Tayoto, a boatman also known as “Korit”, to pay the heirs of Joshar Brequillo and Doris Brequillo the total sum of P275,000 as civil indemnity, moral damages, temperate damages and exemplary damages.

In July 2010, the Provincial Prosecution Office accused Tayoto of robbing the Brequillos of P150,000.00 in cash, as well as four pieces of jewelry and two cellphones valued at P44,000.00, on Sept. 13, 2010. The accused then hacked the couple in the different parts of their bodies before leaving them at the provincial road near the tricycle they were riding.

The Baras police originally charged Tayoto, one Dolores Tayoto Torrente, also known as “Buba”, and several John Does for the crime, based on the testimony of witness Jayson Vergara but Torrente was later cleared by the police.

Vergara had told the police that he was at the house of his sister in Danao when he left at 2 P.M. of Sept. 13, 2010 to go to his grandfather’s house in barangay San Miguel. Upon reaching the provincial road at P. Teston where there were no houses, he saw Tayoto using a bolo to hack several times a male person as well as a woman, after which the suspect left towards a forested area.

The witness then ran to his home. He told the prosecutor that it took time for him to report the incident as he feared for his life and that of his family.

According to the medico-legal examination, Joshar was hacked nine times while his wife Doris had eight hack wounds.

After he was placed under the Witness Protection Program, Vergaras changed his story during his testimony in Court.

He claimed that he was with Tayoto at the time of the incident, having been invited by the accused to gather young coconuts. He was asked to bring a sack into which Tayoto placed the bolo he was carrying.

When they reached sitio Mislagan, the accused told him to hide. When the Brequillos passed on board their tricycle, Tayoto grabbed Joshar and they rolled on the ground as the accused repeatedly hacked the fish vendor while his wife watched helplessly.

Tayoto then turned on Doris, hacking her repeatedly and after stabbing her, took her black bag. The accused and Vergara then left the place, washed the bolo and his hands in a river and destroyed a cellular phone from the bag.

Vergara told the Court that his earlier sworn statement was a lie because he was afraid of being implicated in the crime and for the safety of his family.

In the 23-page decision rendered Oct. 15, 2019, RTC Branch 43 Lelu P. Contreras said Tayoto’s defense of denial and alibi did not convince the Court because of the contradicting testimonies of his two witnesses.

It also found as inconceivable that the incident’s lone witness, Jayson Vergara, would fabricate a very serious accusation against Tayoto over a simple argument over a cockfight bet as claimed by the accused.

Judge Contreras also took note of the incident in Court reported by the daughter of the victims, who claimed that during the Jan. 14, 2019 hearing, one Ronald Tayoto approached her and said, “I-settle ta na lang so case against sa tugang ko na si Domingo Tayoto total dai pa man nasalang so star witness nyo buda name your price.”

“The offer made by the brother of the accused may be considered as an implied admission of guilt, as provided under Section 27, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court…,” the judge stated, noting that the incident was not refuted during the presentation of evidence for the defense.

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