MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation has filed before the Department of Justice a murder complaint against a doctor suspected of being involved in the killing of retired Court of Appeals Associate Justice Normandie Pizarro.
The letter of complaint, dated Feb. 22, 2001, was filed by the NBI against Dr. Ramon Tayag Pangan, a resident of Pampanga.
Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento confirmed to reporters that the complaint had already been filed.
Pizarro was known for decisions such as clearing former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes of the killing of environmentalist Jerry Ortega.
He also authored the decision that acquitted Janet Lim Napoles of serious illegal detention. Pizarro also penned the decision that nullified a Hawaii court’s decision granting $2 billion in damages to the victims of the martial law regime of President Ferdinand Marcos.
Pizarro — who retired in 2018, a year earlier than required — disappeared on Oct. 23, 2020. His vehicle was recovered in Pampanga.
Then days later, on Oct. 30, a decomposing body of a man was discovered in Tarlac. The body was examined by the NBI forensic team. Initial findings showed that the victim died due to a gunshot wound in the back of his head.
Three weeks later, a DNA analysis report showed that the recovered body was that of Pizarro.
According to the NBI, a witness said Pizarro told him that he was working on a big case for the Pangans and that the doctor had an unpaid loan of P90,000.
On Nov. 18, 2020, Pangan, accompanied by his lawyer and wife, appeared before the NBI. He said he was with Pizarro on the day the appeals court justice disappeared, but he denied participating in his killing.
He submitted his sworn statement, a medical certificate, a mobile phone, and the shirt and pants he wore last Oct. 23. Pangan claimed that he alighted from Pizarro’s vehicle in Tarlac and boarded a jeepney to Mabalacat, Pampanga.
However, the NBI said there were “glaring inconsistencies” in his testimony.
The NBI said that, based on CCTV footage, Pangan did not walk in the area he mentioned nor did he ride a jeepney. The footage, according to the NBI, did not show any jeepney around the area at that time.
The NBI added that the pants Pangan submitted were not the same pants he wore on Oct. 23, based on the CCTV footage they had obtained.
In December 2020, Pangan executed an extrajudicial confession admitting his participation in the killing of Pizarro.
“His narration of the events bespeaks spontaneity and coherence. It was replete with details stating the place and manner of the killing of Associate Justice Pizarro. Associate Justice Pizarro was killed at Sitio Palublub, Brgy. Lawy, Capas, Tarlac by gunshot at the back of his head, a fact concurred by Dr. Pangan who had no knowledge of the evidence gathered by the NBI-STF (Special Task Force),” read the complaint.
The NBI said Pangan also participated in the reenactment of the killing of Pizarro was killed. Pangan also added that there were others who participated in the killing. But he said he could not identify the others because they were wearing masks.
The NBI said Pangan’s claim seemed “superfluous and nothing but a mere excuse.”
Still, the NBI said the other details given by Pangan were a “narration of events and circumstances that only a person who had participated in the killing would know.”
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