One of the six men convicted in the assassination of Masbate City Mayor Moises Espinosa Jr. in 2001 was killed inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
Charlie Quidato was shot to death by an inmate on Thursday afternoon inside Dorm 9 of the Maximum Security Compound, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) spokesman Msgr. Roberto Olaguer said on Friday.
Quidato died with two gunshot wounds on his chest from a .357 Magnum revolver. His head was also whipped several times with a piece of wood.
The suspect, Ronald Catapang, has surrendered to authorities and turned over his firearm.
Quidato was the former leader of Commando Gang where Catapang was also a member. Jaybee Niño Sebastian took over from Quidato as the group’s leader.
Witnesses said Quidato asked Catapang to throw a grenade to other Commando Gang members who were then having a meeting. Catapang defied Quidato’s order and this led to a heated argument.
Msgr. Olaguer disclosed that 16 firearms and a grenade allegedly owned by Quidato were discovered inside his dormitory. There were also a few pieces of jewelry found inside his cabinet.
Quidato, a former Masbate City jail warden, was meted a life sentence in 2012, for conspiring to kill Espinosa, who only served as mayor for 40 days, during a feast day celebration in Barangay Bantigue, Masbate City on August 9, 2001.
Quidato’s co-accused are his brother Isagani, a former jail officer; Ramilo Ayque, a former jail guard; and inmate Alex Alteza.
Two other suspects, detainees Dindo Niez and Pio Badaguas, were sentenced to between 20 and 40 years in jail for being accomplices in the murder.
An investigation of the 2001 killing showed that Quidato organized the assassination of Espinosa. His brother Isagani was tasked to shoot the city official with .45 caliber handgun.
The motive behind Espi-nosa’s killing or who ordered the assassination was not established as the accused denied their involvement in the crime.
MICHAEL JOE DELIZO