Bicol newsman’s killer faces homicide, not murder raps

November 14, 2018

CAMP Simeon Ola, Legazpi City -- The suspect in the killing of Philippine Star Bicol correspondent Celso Amo, 66, identified as Adam Johnson M. Abañez, 33, of Dao, Pilar, Sorsogon, has been charged with homicide instead of murder after a vital witness failed to give his testimony before an inquest proceeding at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Legazpi City, the Daraga police reported on Tuesday.

According to Daraga MPS chief Supt. Benito Dipad, the witness claimed he saw Amo being stabbed in the back by Abañez just seconds after an altercation during a basketball game at the Daraga covered court shortly after 8 a.m. last Sunday.

Supt. Dipad said without the testimony of the vital witness, the prosecution reduced the charges against Abañez to homicide with a recommended bail of P120,000. The family of the suspect claimed that Abañez is suffering from depression and thus considered a mentally-ill person.

At the Daraga police detention cell, reporters questioned Abañez in Tagalog dialect, “Nagsisisi ka ba sa nagawa mo?” the suspect replied, “Napilitan lang ako Sir, naubusan na kasi ako nang budget.”

When reporters reiterated the same question, Abañez again replied, “Hindi, hindi ho, tinanggap ko naman, kasi nakakulong na ako, may gobyerno naman tayo.”