A regional trial court in Antipolo City has dismissed the double murder case filed against former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eduardo Kapunan, effectively acquitting him in the death of labor leader Rolando Olalia and his aide Leonor Alay-ay in 1986.
This came after Judge Marie Claire Mabutas-Sorda of Antipolo RTC, Branch 97, granted the demurrer to evidence filed by Kapunan.
A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss filed by the accused after the prosecution has finished its presentation of evidence. It is anchored on the ground that the evidence presented is insufficient.
Co-accused Sgts. Desiderio Perez, Dennis Jabatan, and newly arrested Fernando Cassanova will remain in prison.
The court granted bail for Kapunan a year after he surrendered in 2012.
Olalia’s cousin, lawyer Edre Olalia, secretary-general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, said the court’s decision is “distressing and frustrating.”
“The message is clear: lowly soldiers should not follow illegal orders from superiors because they will walk free and you take the fall,” Olalia said.
NUPL and the Public Interest Law Center are acting as private prosecutors in the case.
Olalia and Alay-ay were found dead in Antipolo on Nov. 13, 1986.