Cavite gunman's aide a co-conspirator, says prosecutor
MANILA, Philippines -- A man who allegedly aided a crazed gunman during a shooting rampage in Kawit, Cavite last week did not act under duress and was in fact a co-conspirator of the gunman, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Chief provincial prosecutor Manny Velasco said suspect John Paul Lopez, a house caretaker who was seen helping gunman Ronald Bae load his firearm during his shooting spree, was found having a direct participation in the crime.
"Sa resolution ng aming opisina, nakita namin ang direct na partisipasyon ni John Paul. Hindi siya tinakot ni Bae, hindi siya pinilit. Bagkus ay nagawa 'yung krimen dahil sa malaking tulong pa nga ni John Paul. Kaya hindi siya accessory kundi co-conspirator sa krimeng ito," Velasco told radio dzMM.
The prosecutor said they are set to file multiple murder charges against Lopez today.
"Murder with violation of child abuse law, multiple frustrated murder with violation or in relation to child abuse law, illegal possession of ammunition and illegal use of prohibited drugs," he said.
Velasco said there is a presumption that Lopez, who had been drinking with Bae prior to the incident , already knew Bae's plan to go on a shooting rampage the next day.
He added that Lopez only left the site right after police authorities arrived.
"May presumption na napag-usapan na nila habang nag-iinuman. Sila ay magkasama ng dalawang araw. Dun pa lang ay pinigil niya na dapat si Bae."
"Kitang-kita niya nang binaril ang mga tao. Si John Paul Lopez ay umalis lang nang dumating ang mga pulis," Velasco said.
"Ang punto dito 'yung mga sinabi na tinakot lamang, etc. Ito ay walang katotohanan," he added.
Lopez earlier denied he loaded bullets for Bae's gun voluntarily. Moreover, he claimed he did not use drugs prior to the incident.
Bae was shot dead by the police after he refused to surrender. By then, he had already killed 7 people and left 10 others injured.