P20M damage suit mulled vs ‘ambushed lawyer’

BACOLOD City – A lawyer who was linked to the ambush of a fellow lawyer is mulling to file a P20-million damage suit against the latter.

Atty. Erfe del Castillo was allegedly ambushed in December 2018 which resulted in the death of her fiancé.

Del Castillo said in a press conference last week that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed two criminal charges against 11 personalities

Lawyer Jomax Ortiz, a former mayor of Salvador Benedicto, who is among the respondents in two criminal charges filed by the NBI before the Talisay City Prosecutor’s Office, confirmed his intention to file the P20-million damage suit against Del Castillo for implicating him in her ambush, which he dismissed as baseless.

Ortiz said he got a copy of the 256-page complaint.

He said the accusations against him tarnished his image and damaged his reputation, being a lawyer, a former town mayor, and a councilor of Bacolod City.

He also expressed dismay that the NBI did not give him and other respondents a chance to answer the accusations against them before filing the charges.

Ex-policeman Efren Palmares Jr., the fiancé of Del Castillo, died in the ambush.

Earlier, Task Force Kasanag commander John Chiong came to the defense of respondents, who also questioned the failure of NBI to give them a chance to explain their sides, before filing the cases.

Aside from Ortiz, the NBI also charged Catherine Berioso-Cabuga (also known as Kate Brios), Shirley Berioso, Caselyn Berioso-Ortiz, Senior Supt. Francisco Ebreo, former Bacolod City Police Officer officer-in-charge; Supt. Richie Yatar, Senior Inspector Adrian Albaytar, SPO2 Joshua Barile, PO3 Ronald Ortiz, a journalist, and several John and Jane Does.

The respondents will hold a press conference to answer the accusations against them.

They are also filing damage suits against del Castillo.

 

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