Another Aquino-Galman convict dies

Posted at 03/14/2008 11:32 AM

One of the 16 convicted soldiers in the Aquino-Galman double murder case died Friday inside his detention cell at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

Radio dzMM reported that the death of former Cpl. 1st Class Mario Lazaga was confirmed by lawyer Persida Acosta, chief of the Public Attorneys Office.

Acosta said Lazaga died of hypertension.

Lazaga is one of the 16 soldiers convicted in the assassination of former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and Rolando Galman on the tarmac of the Manila airport on Aug. 21, 1983. The senator was stepping off the tarmac while under heavy guard when he was shot to the head. Seconds after, aviation security men shot dead Rolando Galman, who was accused of assassinating Aquino.

The 16 soldiers have a pending appeal for an executive clemency before the Board of Pardons and Parole.

Last November, President Arroyo granted pardon to a soldier convicted for the assassination of Aquino 24 years ago.

Former M/Sgt. Pablo Martinez, who has reached the age of 70, was released from the NBP. Two other convicts have already died in detention since Martinez’s pardon. Mrs. Arroyo pardoned Martinez based on her declaration that convicts aged 70 are eligible for pardon.