Gunman in shooting of Cebu radioman gets 12 years in prison

Jhunnex Napallacan
Inquirer Visayas Bureau

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Regional Trial Court (RTC) convicted on Monday the accused in the shooting and wounding of a broadcaster in 2004.

Cebu RTC Branch 12 Judge Estela Alma Singco, in a 29-page decision, found John Lloyd Ortiz, 24, guilty of the crime of frustrated murder in connection with the shooting and wounding of Cirse “Choy” Torralba on June 8, 2004.

The judge sentenced Ortiz to eight up to 12 years and one day imprisonment.

Torralba was inside his car, along with driver Randy Libradilla, outside dyAR radio in uptown Cebu City, when a lone gunman shot him several times.

Torralba, who now has a program in dyLA station in Cebu City, sustained multiple gunshot wounds in the 2004 shooting.

Judge Singco also ordered Ortiz to pay Torralba P161,214.47 as actual damages.

Torralba was elated at the guilty verdict but expressed dismay over the damages approved by the judge.

Torralba said he asked for P1 million actual damages, but the court only awarded indemnity of P108,214.77 for his medical expenses and repair of his car in the amount of P53,000.

“I’m not satisfied with the compensation, but it’s alright. The most important thing is that I’m still alive,” Torralba said in Cebuano.

Ortiz could still file a motion for reconsideration.

Ortiz, through his counsels, insisted he was innocent. He claimed that he was with a friend in a department store here when the crime happened.

But Judge Singco gave weight to the positive identification made by Libradilla and Torralba of Ortiz as the gunman.

“Further, it has been long established that alibi can not prevail over the positive identification of the accused by a credible witness who has no ill motive to falsely testify. The absence of ill motive on Torralba and Libradilla’s part was even substantiated by the accused in his testimony,” the ruling stated.

The prosecution pointed at jealousy as the motive of the shooting since the girlfriend of Ortiz identified as Yvonne Ygbuhay worked with Torralba, who was campaigning for Senator Loren Legarda in the 2004 elections.

The prosecution pointed out that Ortiz was extremely jealous of Torralba since he believed that the latter and his girlfriend, who had been friends because of their work, were having a relationship.

The judge also noted that the proof of motive strengthened the case by reinforcing the prosecution witnesses’ positive identification.

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