TACLOBAN CITY – The Leyte Provincial Prosecutor dismissed two murder complaints filed against San Isidro, Leyte Mayor Remedio Veloso, his brother Emmanuel, and several others for lack of probable cause and insufficiency of evidence.
In separate resolutions promulgated last June 27, the prosecutor’s office dismissed the case filed by officers of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group regional office (CIDG-8) in relation to the killing of former municipal administrative officer Levi Mabini and another murder complaint for the death of a certain Audie Jesus De Veyra.
The CIDG Regional Field Unit filed the murder case against the town mayor and his brother last March 21 based on the result of their investigation gathered from witnesses pointing to the respondents as the mastermind of the killing of the former town employee.
Mabini was shot to death last May 8, 2019 as he was getting off a motorcycle outside a gas station in Capiñahan village where Mayor Susan Ang resides. He was about to meet the mayor when gunmen attacked him.
The new witnesses presented, namely Zello Veloso, Edgar Dela Rosa and Jed Granados. Veloso and Granados were both nephews of Mayor Veloso while Dela Rosa is a close friend of Granados.
Mayor Veloso said Zello was motivated by hatred and wanted revenge after he was relieved from his assignment as police officer at the municipal police station. He added that Granados, likewise, wanted to become the municipal administrator and at the same time the sole contractor of municipal projects, which he rejected. Dela Rosa and Granados wanted to secure the franchise to operate the municipal cockpit arena, a request that he also denied.
On the complaint for the murder of De Veyra last April 21, 2021, the complainant Lorraine, who is also a sister of the victim, executed an affidavit of desistance and recantation last May 11, 2023 claiming that the witnesses’ testimony against the mayor was false, malicious and baseless.
In a statement sent to his lead counsel Attorney Jay Viajero on Monday, Mayor Veloso said that from the beginning he was already expecting that the cases would be dismissed for lack of probable cause and basis as they were fabricated and politically motivated.
“For this, we are grateful to the Provincial Prosecutor for having uphold truth and justice in the face of unfounded and malicious claims. The now dismissed cases are proven to be a mere falsehood and are solely driven by the desire to tarnish the reputation and standing of the respondents,” he said.
“The saddest part of this political circus and power tripping is that it took away the attention from the inhuman, senseless, and cowardly killing of our sister, (Juanita B. Veloso), last December 21, 2022. That murderous and bestial act is clearly motivated by a lust for political clout and power,” he added.
Juanita Veloso, 77, a former municipal government administrator, suffered five gunshot wounds and died at the scene when the assailants open-fired at their vehicle in Kananga town. Investigators found 40 bullet shells for guns of still unknown calibers at the scene.
“Instead of focusing on the investigation, the prosecution of the assailants and the people behind it, and the prompt resolution of the case, efforts were wrongly invested on unrelated and senseless matters such as the police raid conducted at the Veloso residence in Brgy. Linao, and Brgy. Matungao, San Isidro, Leyte, and the filing of the above-mentioned baseless cases,” the mayor stated. Mayor Veloso said the filing of cases against him and his brother “were done in order to divert the attention and derail the process of attaining justice for the victim and for the bereaved family.” By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail July 17-23, 2023 issue)