Davao Fiscal clears 3 suspects in gym instructress’ slaying
THE Davao City Prosecutor’s Office (CPO) dismissed the case against three men accused in the killing of a gym instructor.
In a resolution penned by Prosecutor Mariam Mastura-Linsangan, the robbery with homicide case against Renante Sereno, Edre Galladora and Manuel Ceballos Jr. was dropped for insufficiency of evidence.
The three were among the five suspects tagged in the brutal slaying of Cheryl Gay Grafilo, 31, of Poblacion 6 in Midsayap in North Cotabato, who succumbed to multiple stab wounds.
“There is no evidence submitted to show what time on August 28, 2012 the victim was stabbed and killed and that there were no other persons present in the place of the incident aside from the respondents’ group to establish probable cause against the said respondents based on circumstantial evidence,” the resolution read.
It added that Galladura was not seen by the witnesses in the company of the other respondents around 4 a.m.
It read that the statements of Galladura in his said to be extra-judicial confession are “inadmissible as evidence” since it was made even without the assistance of a lawyer of his own choice.
It said that one witness also failed to testify how the victim’s belongings were in his possession.
“Even if he did so, it was allegedly Romar Mercado Salinas @ Omar who gave the said items to him and the said person cannot be indicted because he is already dead,” it added, thus the dismissal of the case.
Salinas was found dead on August 31 at the same place where Grafilo was also murdered.
Another suspect, Chearemae Fuertes, 24, of Panganiban Street in Barangay 11-B, was also killed following an encounter with personnel of Davao City Police Office and San Pedro police on August 30.
Grafilo was on her way to work at Holiday Gym & Spa when the incident happened in an alley on Jacinto Extension around 5:30 a.m. of August 28.
Recovered from the crime scene were a caliber .38 caliber revolver, two empty shells, and two live ammunitions.
Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Eliseo Malana Jr., San Pedro police chief, said they are set to conduct fresh investigation.
“Mag back-tracking gyud ta ani. Kadtong tulo nga na-release makatabang gihapon to sila sa imbestigasyon namo kay naa man pud sila nahibaw-an ato nga kaso (There will be back-tracking. The three respondents will help in the investigation),” he said in an interview over TV Patrol Southern Mindanao on Friday.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 09, 2012.