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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, June 14, 2012
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Gumban kin hits accused

A relative of the slain Dr. Andres Gumban failed to hold her temper and hit one of the suspects in his murder yesterday during the arraignment of the case at the Hall of Justice in Bacolod City.

Clad in a yellow T-shirt with the print “Detainee” on it of Pascual Jr., 18, of Brgy. Tadlong, Sagay City, Negros Occidental, and his 16-year-old classmate and co-accused, whose name is being withheld as he is a minor, appeared before Regional Trial Court Branch 41 Judge Ray Alan Drilon.

However, as Pascual was approaching the bench to sit, Gumban’s niece, whose name was not disclosed, hit him.

Andrei Saril, lawyer of Gumban’s family, apologized to the court for what happened but said it was a natural reaction from the doctor’s family because of the brutal killing of their loved one.

Saril said he hopes the court would give them leeway since this was the first time for most of Gumban’s relatives to see the suspects personally.

Jordan Javier, a close friend of Gumban, said that they hope for a speedy resolution of his case.

Meanwhile, the arraignment of the murder case against Pascual and his co-accused has been reset to July 2 because they had no lawyers yesterday.

Pascual is represented by Christine Umahag of the Public Attorney’s Office, who failed to appear at the court as she was off-duty, while the minor will be represented by retired Prosecutor Abraham Tiongco, who has not filed an entry of appearance yet.

Saril said the suspects are unlikely to plead guilty despite the fact that the evidence is strong against them.

Gumban was killed at his house at Regent Pearl Homes Subdivision in Brgy. Alijis in Bacolod City on May 10, allegedly by Pascual and the minor, whom the doctor met through Facebook.

The minor even videotaped the killing through his cellular phone which the police recovered and presented as one of the evidences.*APN

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