Ex-Isabela mayor, 2 brgy captains linked to murder surrender to VG

Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer with former Isabela mayor Joselito Malabor (l-r, standing), and barangay captains Amy Locsin and Armando Cordero who surrendered to him on Thursday, February 10.*CPG photo

Former mayor Joselito Malabor and two incumbent barangay captains of Isabela town, who are facing what they claimed are trumped up murder charges, surrendered to Negros Occidental Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer at the Capitol in Bacolod City Thursday, February 10.

They have been linked to the 2019 murder of Moises Padilla councilor Jolomar Hilario.

Malabor, Sebucawan barangay captain Amy Locsin and Maytubig barangay captain Armando Cordero were turned over by Ferrer to National Bureau of Investigation Bacolod chief Renoir Baldovino.

The three were charged along with several officials of Moises Padilla, who are currently detained for the murder of Hilario, their lawyer Joemax Ortiz said.

A hearing of their petition for bail will be held before the Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, Regional Trial Court on Friday, February 11, he added.

Malabor and the two barangay captains are innocent victims of orchestrated, malicious and baseless accusations, Ortiz said.

They were implicated in the murder based on the testimony of one witness, Jomer Pablo, who has executed an affidavit recanting his earlier allegations, so he is confident his clients will be granted bail, Ortiz said.

According to the witness he was forced and coerced to implicate the accused, Ortiz said, but did not name the persons behind the move.

The former Isabela mayor said the charges against them are politically motivated and are plain and simple harassment. He said they are from Isabela yet they were linked to a crime in Moises Padilla.

Malabor, who lost to Isabela Mayor Irene Montilla in the 2019 elections, said he is no longer running for any elective post. He has just been ordained as a pastor and wants to focus on his ministry.

Ortiz said the Comelec has yet to issue a decision on their 2019 election protest and he is confident that Malabor had won the 2019 mayoral race.

The former mayor’s nephew Renato Malabor Jr. is challenging Montilla for the mayorship of Isabela in the May polls.

Ferrer said that Malabor and the two barangay captains surrendered to him because they trust him, and he facilitated their turnover to the NBI where they will be in good hands.

In September last year, Moises Padilla Vice Mayor Adrian Villaflor and Councilor Jimmie Don Plaza, who were also implicated in the same case, also surrendered to Ferrer who turned them over to the NBI.

Moises Padilla councilors Vincent Garcia and Jose Morito Flores, Quintin Remo barangay captain Felisa Villaflor and her husband, Jonathan, who were also tagged in the murder of Hilario surrendered to the police in August 2021.

All of them have denied committing the murder.

Shortly after Hilario was killed on March 31, 2019, the New People’s Army claimed responsibility for his killing.*

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