May 21, 2024

The Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Tagum City, Davao del Norte has recommended the dropping of murder charges against six individuals accused of killing a lumad three years ago in Davao del Norte.
One of the accused in the case is Cordillera Peoples Alliance chair, Windel Bolinget.
In a reinvestigation report dated May 24, Prosecutor James Noel Morente cited the various alibis backed by pieces of evidence of Bolinget, Albert Mandin, Lutgardo JurcalesJr., Jackie Valencia, Agnes Mesina, and Reynaldo Gameng as grounds in dropping the case.
Bolinget and 10 other individuals were accused of killing Garito Tiklonay Malibato on March 22, 2018 in Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
Malibato is a lumad said to be defending his ancestral land.
Bolinget, however, said he never set foot in the place of the incident.
Bolinget and the other five accused called for a reinvestigation and asked that their names be dropped from the murder charge.
Bolinget stated in the report that he is a resident of La Trinidad, Benguet and works in Baguio City. Both places are located thousands of kilometers away from Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
At the time of the commission of the crime, he was busy preparing for a press conference for the annual Cordillera Day celebration.
The prosecutor said Bolinget presented witnesses and documentary evidence to support his claim.
The CPA welcomed the recommendation of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office and looks forward to the complete dismissal of the charges against Bolinget, which they claim is fabricated.
“This is a welcome development in the unraveling of truth behind the murder of Malibato, and in attaining justice for those falsely accused of the crime,” CPA said in a statement. – Ofelia C. Empian