Zambo Norte congresswoman, husband charged with obstruction of justice
DIPOLOG CITY, Philippines – Zamboanga del Norte 2nd District Representative Glona Labadlabad, her husband and their alleged personal assistant were charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly harboring a self-confessed killer.
Acting prosecutor general Richard Anthony D . Fadullion ordered provincial prosecutor Gavino S. Saavedra II to file the case in court and “to handle its active prosecution.”
Charged with Labablabad was her husband Rosendo who is the mayor of Sindangan town in Zamboanga del Norte.
The case happened months before elections when Ernie Lumocso and Roy Balayong, non-regular employees of former Siayan Municipal Mayor Flora Villarosa, went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and confessed to burning the house and killing Restituto Sasuman.
Lumocso claimed that he was the one who killed Sasuman on orders of Villarosa while Balayong drove the motorcycle they used and assisted in committing the crime.
The NBI then filed murder and arson complaints against Villarosa, Lumocso, Balayong and Josecor Gepolongca, who was then the administrator and now the mayor of Siayan town.
Villarosa, who ran for congress against Glona Labadlabad, countered that the murder and arson charges against her were not true and were just a ploy to kick her out of the electoral race.
In December last year, Villarosa filed an obstruction of justice complaint against the Labadlabads and presented evidence showing that Lumocso and Balayong were under their care.
Two months after, acting Zamboanga del Norte Prosecutor Peter Ong dismissed the NBI complaint against Villarosa, Gepolongca, Lumocso and Balayong citing “inconsistencies” and “falsehoods” in Lumocso’s claims.
Being cleared of the murder and arson complaints though was not enough to help Villarosa win in the congressional race.
Rosendo Labadlabad, on the hand, beat retired General Alexander Yano for mayor of Sindangan town. Yano is an ally of Villarosa.
Despite losing, Villarosa said she felt happy when she learned last week that the prosecutor found probable cause to file the case against the Labadlabads.
Villarosa said her complaint got a boost last June 20 when the police arrested Lumocso and two others for killing Venicer Marinduque, chairman of Siayan’s Barangay Mangilay. Marinduque is a close supporter of Villarosa.
Paul Gudmalin, lawyer of the Labadlabads, said they filed a motion for reconsideration. – Rappler.com