A BATANGAS City court on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole the jailed suspected leader of the infamous Black Shark Gang, after finding the accused guilty of ordering the murder of a senior executive of the Siemens Philippines in Batangas province.
Judge Aida Carrera Santos of the Batangas City Regional Trial Court Branch 7 also ordered Tomas Dimacuja Jr. to indemnify the heirs of Nicanor Agon of over P350,000 before ordering him immediately transferred to the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City where he will serve his life term.
The judge found Dimacuha ‘guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal by inducement’ for the crime of murder.
Dimacuja, along with 12 others, was charged before the Department of Justice by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for the murder of Agon on February 22, 2004 in Sta. Rita, Batangas.
The killing of Agon was believed to have been triggered by his spat with Dimacuha who was then engaged in the business of buying and selling scrap metals from different oil and chemical companies in Batangas City where he was the chairman of Barangay Bolbok.
Policemen headed by then Superintendent Hansel M. Marantan closely followed the activities of the suspects and conducted several operations against them, one of which led in the killing of several members of the ring and a PNP Special Action Force commando who was with Marantan’s group.
The PNP leadership in the mid 2000 made the Black Shark Gang as a top priority for neutralization leading to a series of raids in Batangas which turned deadly after the gangmembers fought it out with officers. Dozens of high-powered weapons and ammunition were also recovered from the suspects’ lairs.
Citing testimonies from arresting officers and different witnesses, the court found that it was Dimacuja who ordered the assassination of Agon as he emerged from a cockpit in Sta. Rita, Batangas.
The accused was arrested on March 5, 2015 by agents of the PNP-CIDG Detection and Special Operations Unit inside Building MC23 in Barangay Diego Silang in Taguig City. His arrest triggered the revival on March 16, 2015 of the case archived on May 11, 2007.
During his arraignment on March 19, 2015, the accused pleaded not guilty.
The court depended on testimonies presented by witnesses including one George Vitan who claimed he was recruited by some acquaintances to serve as security personnel of Dimacuja. Vitan however said that they were eventually tasked by the accused to do some illegal activities including killing Agon.