Father, son get 3 counts of life imprisonment for murder, rape

March 24, 2012 1:42 am 

MANILA, March 23 – A father and his son were sentenced to suffer three counts of life imprisonment after they were found to have orchestrated the killing of a pregnant rape victim and her parents in La Union in 2001.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Ferdinand Fe of Bauang, La union found David Garcia and his son Jonathan guilty of three counts of murder beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced them to three life sentences each as principals in the multiple killings.

Two other accused found as accomplices — Romeo Picar and Mario Ganayo — were given an indeterminate sentence of eight years and one day of prison mayor as minimum to 17 years, four months and one day of reclusion temporal as maximum.

The accused were also ordered to pay a P500,000 fine.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila De Lima said on Friday, "Let it serve as a warning to anyone with culture of impunity to take lives of hapless and innocent victims, more so, one of the victims was twice violated."

De Lima commended officer-in-charge Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva for the successful prosecution of all the accused.

Records show that the victims were Ricardo Aveno, Beatriz Ladia and their daughter Perla Ladia, 16.

The couple were common-law spouses who worked for the family of David Garcia, who had been previously accused of raping Perla.

Investigation disclosed that the couple had earlier been pressured to withdraw the rape case against the elder Garcia.

During the wee hours of June 19, 2001, the day after David Garcia was arraigned for the rape case, armed men entered into their hut and killed the couple and abducted their daughter Perla, who was brought to a nearby mountain and mercilessly shot in the head.

Prior to the incident, the siblings of the victims informed local authorities about threats to the lives of the family coming from the accused.

Two of the accused — Picar and Ganayo — and two unidentified companions were reported seen conducting surveillance on the hut of the victims.

Three young members of the family who were spared from the carnage said they have all seen the accused removed their bonnets after the killings, thinking they would not be identified.

Aside from conspiracy, the RTC believed that the attack on the three victims were attended by the qualifying circumstances of treachery and therefore the killings amounted to murder.

"There is nothing on record that shows that the victims have given provocation to the offenders," the RTC said. (PNA) scs/PTR

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