Relatives of 6 missing sabungeros to drop charges against suspects
Relatives of 6 missing sabungeros to drop charges against suspects
Relatives of 6 missing sabungeros to drop charges against suspects
by Mary Antalan16 August 2023
Photo Courtesy: The Pinoy OFW

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been requested by the relatives of six cockfighting enthusiasts or sabungeros, who went missing last year to dismiss the charges against the men believed to be responsible for the incident.

“The affiants or the families went to the DOJ to execute their affidavits of desistance against the suspects in case number 1, asking that the case be dismissed against these suspects,” DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla told reporters yesterday.

Remulla however, did not mention why the sabungeros’ families decided to drop the charges against the suspects, who remain at large.

But the charges cannot be dropped if the suspects refuse to surrender to the jurisdiction of the court or the DOJ, according to the National Prosecution Service.


The justice secretary said that the DOJ could continue the case even with the desistance of the families, “but in our regime of law, we give big importance on the loved ones as the private offended parties, and if they ask for the cases to be dismissed, we allow it to happen.”

Earlier this year, Julie Patidongan, Gleer Codilla, Mark Carlo Zabala, Virgilio Bayog, Johnry Consolacion, and Roberto Matillano Jr. were charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention before the Manila Regional Trial Court.

They were charged in relation to the disappearance of sabungeros John Claude Inonog, James Baccay, Marlon Baccay, Rondel Cristorum, Mark Joseph Velasco, and Rowel Gomez, who reportedly left Tanay, Rizal at around 1 a.m. on Jan. 13 last year.

They were bound for the Manila Arena, supposedly to join the six-cock stag derby, but went missing after allegedly being forced to board a gray van before 8 p.m.


The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the National Bureau of Investigation are looking into about seven other incidents of missing sabungeros.

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