Justice Secretary Leila De Lima emphasized that all members of the armed forces, including the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGUs) are subject to the laws of the land as she hailed the conviction of a CAFGU member for frustrated homicide.
Renato de Lumen was accused of trying to kill SPO1 Eric Lomibao of the Daraga, Albay PNP Station on September 20, 2010.
During trial, the prosecution recounted that Lomibao was among ten police officers dispatched by the Daraga PNP Station to a “troubled area in Bagumbayan, Daraga, Albay” to respond to a “mauling, shooting and carnapping incident.”
As the policemen chased the fleeing suspects, Lomibao “got shot in the buttocks as he exchanged gunfire with de Lumen,” who continued to flee. De Lumen was eventually arrested in a nearby house.
On the other hand, Lomibao was admitted in a hospital and was discharged two days later. A doctor testified that “Lomibao’s wound, if left untreated, could prove fatal as he stands to suffer acute blood loss.”
In a 15-page Joint Decision, the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City Branch 10 ruled de Lumen “guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of frustrated homicide.”
Presiding Judge Maria Theresa San Juan – Loquillano sentenced him to an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of from four years and two months of prision correccional as minimum to ten years of prision mayor as maximum and to pay Lomibao a total of P17,000 in damages.
CAFGUs were created by virtue of Executive Order No. 264 signed by then President Corazon Aquino on July 25, 1987.
Under that law, “The Citizen Armed Force Geographical Units shall consist of cadre of officers and men in the active force and qualified reservists residing in the locality.”
They “may be called or mobilized to complement the operations of the regular force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or to support the regular force formations or units” whenever dictated by military necessity.
De Lima clarified that the CAFGUs were created to augment the regular units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines primarily tasked to defend the State. “Thus, they are expected to be law abiding and peace loving citizens.”