Ex-cop linked to 2014 shoot­ing spree gets 14 years

Sun.Star Baguio - - Top Stories -

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A court found Fren­zel Men­doza, a former po­lice of­fi­cer, guilty for the death of a lo­cal busi­ness­man in a shoot­ing spree that hap­pened in the evening of Au­gust 7, 2014. He was sen­tenced to 10 to 14 years im­pris­on­ment in a de­ci­sion pro­mul­gated in open court last Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 11.

Af­ter more than four years of trial, Judge Em­manuel Ca­cho Ras­ing of the Re­gional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 10 found suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence pre­sented by the pros­e­cu­tion against Men­doza to prove his guilt be­yond rea­son­able doubt for the killing of Ce­sar Pal­i­tog De­gay who was then the man­ager of a bar in Pobla­cion, La Trinidad, Benguet.

Men­doza was also sacked as a po­lice of­fi­cer in Novem­ber 2014 af­ter he was found ad­min­is­tra­tively guilty in the Au­gust 7, 2014 shoot­ing in­ci­dent that re­sulted to the deaths of De­gay and se­cu­rity guard Sonny Caswang Awingan.

A cer­tain Rey­mar Cosendo Copis sur­vived

the in­ci­dent but sus­tained mi­nor gun­shot wounds.

Court doc­u­ments show that Men­doza, to­gether with then fel­low po­lice of­fi­cers Mafer­san San­ti­ago, Cid Acop and Ne­mer Comiss­ing, went for a drink­ing binge in the evening of Au­gust 7.

Men­doza then fig­ured in a brawl with a group of teenagers near Mid­town bar in Pobla­cion, La Trinidad. De­gay and Awingan tried to pacify the sit­u­a­tion. De­gay even shielded Men­doza who fell to the ground af­ter be­ing beaten by the group of teens. How­ever, upon re­cov­er­ing, Men­doza pointed his gun and shot mul­ti­ple times Awingan and De­gay. Closed cir­cuit tele­vi­sion (CCTV) footages of the in­ci­dent were used as ev­i­dence in the court case.

The au­topsy con­re­sult­ing ducted on De­gay showed he suf­fered four gun­shot wounds, one in the head and three in his back. The other mur­der case against Men­doza for the death of Awingan was dis­missed due to the non-par­tic­i­pa­tion of Awingan’s fam­ily.

The court sen­tenced Men­doza “to suf­fer the in­de­ter­mi­nate sen­tence of ten (10) years of pri­sion mayor, as min­i­mum, to four­teen (14) years, eight (8) months, and one (1) day of reclu­sion tem­po­ral, as max­i­mum.” He was also or­dered to pay the heirs of the vic­tim civil dam­ages in the amount of P50,000, moral dam­ages in the amount of P50,000 and ac­tual dam­ages amount­ing to P165,000. Judge Ras­ing has or­dered Men­doza to be de­liv­ered to the New Bili­bid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

Photo by Jean Ni­cole Cortes

BENGUET COLORS. Po­lice women from Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice - Cordillera (PROCOR) pa­rade at Camp Bado Dangwa grabed in their na­tive at­tire in cel­e­bra­tion of the 117th Po­lice Ser­vice An­niver­sary with the theme “Pag­babago sa hanay ng Pulisya, Hatid ay lig­tas na pa­mayanan, la­ban sa ku­rap­son, kri­men at il­le­gal na droga”.

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