Department of Justice

Government prosecutors have sought another investigation to determine the identities of the other suspects in the 2020 killing of retired Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Normandie B. Pizarro.

In a statement issued Thursday night, Jan. 13, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said that the recommendation for another probe was made by a panel of prosecutors that indicted Dr. Ramon Tayag Pangan for his alleged involvement in Pizarro’s death.

Pangan was charged with murder last Dec. 21, 2021 before the regional trial court (RTC) in Capas, Tarlac based on the complaint filed by Pizarro’s son, Normandie Jr., before the Special Task Force of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-STF).

Pizarro retired in 2018 a year before his mandatory retirement at 70 years old.

The NBI had confirmed that the remains of a person recovered in Capas, Tarlac last Oct. 30, 2020 were those of Pizarro’s. It said that the late CA associate justice was last seen at a casino in Clark in Pampanga last Oct. 23, 2020.

In its statement, the DOJ said that “the prosecutors likewise recommended that another investigation be opened against the other personalities and malefactors involved in the case as to their identities and their possible participation in the murder of the retired Justice and, if warranted, to file a complaint for preliminary investigation before the Department.”

In the criminal charges filed before the RTC, the prosecutors said they “found the evidence sufficient to support a finding of probable cause that Dr. Pangan committed the crime of murder against the person of retired Justice Pizarro,” the DOJ said.

“The prosecutors found the following qualifying circumstances to have attended the killing: treachery, abuse of superior strength, evident premeditation, use of a motor vehicle, and ignominy,” it said.

During the preliminary investigation, the DOJ said “Dr. Pangan failed to submit his counter-affidavit despite repeated service of the subpoena and a copy of the complaint.”

It said that Pangan had issued a sworn statement and admitted that he took Pizarro to the other suspects in the killing.

“Dr. Pangan, a frequent companion of retired Justice Pizarro, admitted in his third and final Sinumpaang Salaysay that, on Oct. 23, 2020, he willingly brought the retired justice to the place agreed upon by him and the other unknown malefactors, knowing very well the plan to kill him. Dr. Pangan denied knowing any of the malefactors but admitted that they had met several times in several places before the day of the killing,” the DOJ said.

“The prosecutors found that Dr. Pangan’s acts of deliberately misrepresenting to retired Justice Pizarro that he knew of a shortcut route to their destination, to the extent of taking the wheels from the retired Justice and driving the vehicle himself, ensured the delivery of the victim to his killers and, eventually, guaranteed his demise. Without these acts, the malefactors would not have delivered the fatal blow, i.e., firing a gun at the head, that killed the victim,” it said.

The DOJ also pointed out: “Dr. Pangan’s culpable acts on the day of the killing were substantiated by the CCTV recordings secured from different offices covering different routes taken by the vehicle.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (