Ex-BCPO chief, journalist, two others cleared of ambush raps

BACOLOD City – The former police chief of Bacolod City, a journalist, and two others were cleared of murder and frustrated murder raps filed by a lady lawyer who was ambushed on Dec 21, 2018.

But four police officers, two civilians and a John Doe were charged by the Talisay City Prosecutor’s Office of the same accusations.

Lawyer Erfe del Castillo filed the charges against the 11 respondents including a John Doe for the ambush which killed her fiancé, former policeman Efren Palmares.

The prosecutor recommended the filing of the cases against Catherine Berioso-Cabuga alias Kate Brios, lawyer Jose Max Ortiz, Police Lt. Col. Ritchie Yatar, PO3 Ronald Ortiz, SPO2 Joshua Barile, Police Lt. James Adrian Albaytar and John Doe.

The prosecutor did not recommend bail for the murder charges, while P200,000 was recommended for each of them for the frustrated murder case.

On the other hand, the prosecutor dismissed the complaints for murder and frustrated murder against respondents Police Col. Francisco Ebreo, former Bacolod City Police Office chief; Dolly Yasa, Shirley Berioso and Caselyn Berioso-Ortiz for lack of probable cause.

Ortiz, who is the counsel of Catherine Cabuga, had earlier strongly denied the allegations against him.

Cabuga and the rest of those charged denied Del Castillo’s accusations.