crimes in the Philippines

Doctor faces murder complaint over killing of ex-CA justice Pizarro

Lian Buan
Retired justice Normandie Pizarro was shot on the back of his head, says the NBI. The suspect is a doctor who supposedly owes Pizarro money for 'working on a big case.'

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed a murder complaint against a certain Ramon Pangan, a doctor and Pampanga resident, over the killing of retired Court of Appeals (CA) associate justice Normandie Pizarro.

In excerpts of the complaint dated February 22, the NBI said Pangan had “glaring inconsistencies” in his affidavit about the details of the day Pizarro was last seen, which was October 23, 2020.

Pizarro was spotted at a casino in Clark, Pampanga, on October 23, but by afternoon, his vehicle was seen abandoned in the town of San Simon. Bloodstains were seen in the vehicle.

Pizarro was found dead on October 30 in Capas, Tarlac. “The cause of death was later identified as gunshot wound to the head, entry at the back of the head, exiting at the left temple,” the NBI said in its complaint.

Debt?

According to the NBI, Pangan was with Pizarro on October 23.

The NBI’s witnesses claimed Pangan owed Pizarro P90,000 because the retired justice “was working on a big case for the Pangans.”

Pizarro had been controversial throughout his stint at the CA, and in April 2018 when he was already retired, the Supreme Court en banc found him guilty of conduct unbecoming of a member of the judiciary over instances of gambling in a casino.

Pangan, in his affidavit as cited by the NBI, said he asked Pizarro to “stop the car and drop him near the Grotto at Bamban, Tarlac,” at around 12 pm of October 23.

“Dr Pangan allegedly walked a few meters where he noticed mountains and boarded a jeepney with a signboard going to Mabalacat, Pampanga,” said the NBI, citing Pangan’s affidavit.

“Based on the CCTV footage secured by the operatives of the NBI, Dr Pangan neither walked in the area near the mountains nor rode a jeepney with a signboard going to Mabalacat, Pampanga,” added the bureau.

The NBI said the CCTV footage that showed Pizarro’s car from 11 am at a bridge in Capas up until 12:29 pm traversing Bamban “did not show any jeepney.”

Prosecutor General Ben Malcontento said summons may be sent after the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila. The complaint was transmitted to the headquarters of the Department of Justice in Manila and was assigned to state prosecutors.

Controversial

Pizarro retired in February 2018, a year ahead of his mandatory retirement.

He left the CA with a controversial acquittal of former Palawan governor Joel Reyes in the Gerry Ortega murder case. The acquittal was later reversed and the murder charge against Reyes was revived by a different set of CA justices.

The Reyes acquittal was a decision called “preposterous and premature” by his co-justices, and one that “stinks,” according to Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Pizarro also penned the ruling which acquitted Janet Lim Napoles in her serious illegal detention case in May 2017.

He was the ponencia of the ruling that nullified a Hawaii court decision which had granted $2 billion worth of damages to Martial Law victims.

Pizarro is among the 61 lawyers who have been killed under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.