CAGAYAN DE ORO (13 Jan 2017) - The Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila dismissed the murder and frustrated murder cases against jailed Iligan City Mayor Celso Gumera Regencia on Thursday, January 12, 2017.
Regencia, a retired police senior superintendent and overwhelmingly won his second term in May 2016, is a suspect in the alleged ambush on the convoy of former Iligan Lone District congressman Vicente Belmonte Jr on December 11, 2014.
Belmonte survived, but three of his men died.
Regencia has been behind bars for three counts of murder and four counts of frustrated murder.
Also charged for the ambush are Amador Baller, Rogelio Pitos Sr, Romeo Suganob, Dominador Sumandulan Tumala, Peejay Capangpangan, Alfreo Arnoco, Julito Oros Ansad, Dodo Silvano, and Rogelio Pitos Jr.
All of their cases were also dismissed.
The dismissal order was issued on December 9, 2016, and was signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rassendell Rex F. Gingoyon, and approved by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Lilian Doris Alejo, and Chief Prosecutor Jorge Catalan Jr, officer-in-charge.
The DOJ ordered the Office of the Prosecutor in Quezon City to withdraw all the information filed against Regencia and all his co-accused.
Iligan City information officer Jose Pantoja said they are awaiting Regencia's release, possibly by January 17, 2017.
"We are also contemplating filing counter charges against the complainant of the dismissed multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder," Pantoja said. [Bobby Espinosa Lagsa, RAPPLER]