Murder raps vs mayor, vice mayor dismissed for lack of evidence

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – From the start, Mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo of Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental believed that the murder charges filed against her are trumped up charges and a form of political harassment.

Yulo said she is thankful the charges were dismissed for lack of evidence.

The murder charges filed against Garcia-Yulo, Vice Mayor Ian Villaflor and Moreto Flores in connection with the death of Magdaleno “Nonong” Grande was dismissed by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor.

Based on a resolution issued on May 24, 2019 and signed by Associate Prosecutor Ken Furuyama and Provincial Prosecutor Rodrigo Diaz, the murder charges were dropped because the complainant failed to sufficiently establish the concurring elements in order to hold Garcia-Yulo, Villaflor, and Flores liable for Grande’s killing.

In the complaint affidavit filed by former New People’s Army (NPA) rebel Jully Opiar, he claimed Garcia-Yulo ordered the killing of  Grande in January 2016 after reportedly receiving word he had informed former Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña about her security aides being involved with illegal drugs, which eventually resulted in their termination from service.

Opiar’s claims was backed up by Garcia-Yulo’s former bodyguard, Robert Sualog, claiming he heard the then vice mayor giving the orders to kill Grande.

However, Garcia-Yulo’s counter-affidavit denied the allegations, pointing out the “absolute biases” of the Moises Padilla town police for coming up with an investigation report based on a “concocted scenario.”

She also denied the allegations that she and Villaflor were members of the NPA, adding the complaint is nothing more but a scheme designed by her political opponents to further prejudice her.