Eight and a half months after the murder of Filipino race car driver Enzo Pastor, the Department of Justice has finally come out with what may be considered the first truly significant ruling in the case: Dalia Guerrero-Pastor, the victim's wife, may now be charged with parricide, and her rumored lover, Domingo "Sandy" de Guzman III, may now be slapped with a murder rap. The resolution was handed down last February 13 but was announced only today.
According to the DOJ announcement: "Assistant State Prosecutor Susan T. Villanueva resolved the complaints filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and private complainant Tomas Pastor against respondents Domingo de Guzman III aka 'Sandy' and Dalia Guerrero-Pastor in connection with the killing of Ferdinand Pastor aka 'Enzo' and the wounding of Paolo Salazar. The complaints are anchored on the extrajudicial statements made by PO2 Edgar Angel implicating both respondents as the masterminds in the plan to kill Enzo by contracting him to be the gunman for a fee of P100,000."
The DOJ is pushing through with the case in spite of PO2 Angel's recantation.
"Recantations do not necessarily cancel an earlier declaration," said the resolution. "That like any other testimony, the test of credibility must be utilized to determine which of the contradictory testimonies represents the truth; and that these qualifications can only be arrived at during a full-blown trial on the merits and not during preliminary investigation...There is probable cause to hold respondent Sandy for trial for murder, and probable cause to hold respondent Dalia for trial for parricide in the killing of Enzo on the ground of conspiracy."
The DOJ said that "while it may be true that there is no direct evidence pointing to both respondents as direct participants, there is interlocking circumstantial evidence that would point to their connivance in the commission of the crime" (DOJ words in italics):
* Even before PO2 Angel implicated both respondents, Chona Domen, housemaid of the victim, had already executed an affidavit detailing what she knew about the illicit relationship of the respondents. For purposes of establishing conspiracy, and absent any evidence, motive plays an important role. This is strengthened by PO2 Angel's statement that the reason why he was contracted to kill Enzo was because the latter constantly beat his wife and that respondent Sandy wanted to relieve her of this burden;
* Both respondents made known their decision to pursue the plan to kill Enzo when they met PO2 Angel at Pier One on June 11, 2014, and told him to execute it the following day;
* Respondent Sandy provided the means for the execution of the plan;
* Respondent Dalia supplied the information on the exact location of Enzo, giving easy access for PO2 Angel to consummate the crime;
* PO2 Angel was instructed by respondent Sandy to kill Tomas if he was with Enzo. The resolution took note of the fact that Tomas and his wife were at the house of Enzo and respondent Dalia on that fateful night, and that he had expressed his desire to accompany Enzo to Clark, Pampanga. Who could have supplied such vital information, if not respondent Dalia who was with them at that time?
* Respondent Dalia's unexplained absence can be taken against her in the determination of probable cause, since flight is indicative of guilt.
This is obviously a big step toward the solving of the case. The P100,000 question now is: Where is Dalia Guerrero-Pastor?
Photo by Igor Maminta