The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the conviction of four members of a kidnap for ransom (KFR) group behind the abduction and killing of a physician and a retired military officer in 1998.
In a 12-page decision written by Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe dated Nov. 11 and made publicly available Wednesday, the SC Second Division affirmed the penalty of reclusion perpetua (up to 40 years imprisonment) against the suspects in the deaths of retired Major Igmedio Arcega and Dr. Eliezer Andres Sr. in July 1998.
Accused Zaldy Bernardo, Monroy Flores, and Mila Andres Galamay were found guilty of kidnapping for ransom with homicide and sentenced to suffer reclusion perpetua without eligibility of parole. They were also ordered to pay P300,000 in indemnities and damages to the family of Andres. On the other hand, accused Rogelio Antonio was found guilty of murder for the death of Arcega and likewise ordered to pay P275,000 to the victim’s family.
The SC ordered that the case against another accused, Danny Cortez, be closed and terminated following his death during the pendency of the case.
The victims went to Sta. Lucia Mall in Cainta, Rizal on July 2, 1998 to separately meet with a group of people selling gold bars.
After Andres failed to return, his son informed Arcega that his father went missing and the two then went back to the mall to look for the missing man. Arcega would later on go missing the next day. SOVEREIGNPH