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Former gubernatorial candidate now 2nd Most Wanted in Samar

TACLOBAN CITY – After failing to surrender, former gubernatorial candidate in Samar province and retired colonel Emil Zosa is now listed as the second most wanted in Samar province.

Zosa is charged with murder for the killing of Enrique Mañas in Sta. Margarita, Samar in 2017.

Accordingly, the CIDG failed to serve the warrant of arrest against him in his residence in Brgy. Monbon, Sta. Margarita, Samar on Thursday, September 30.

Emil Zosa is the husband of Sta. Margarita Mayor Gemma Zosa. He failed his gubernatorial bid against 2nd Dist. Rep. Sharee Ann Tan in 2016 and the late Governor Milagrosa Tan in 2019.

PCpl. Mark Malatbalat of CIDG-Western Samar said they will return the warrant to the Regional Trial Court Branch 46 in Tacloban City since only Zosa’s brother-in-law received the warrant dated September 22 on behalf of the accused.

“Kapag may warrant (considered) as fugitive na po siya. He can be arrested anywhere as long as may warrant,” Malatbalat said.

A copy of his warrant of arrest was received by his brother-in-law who said the accused was not in his home at the time of his supposed arrest.

The case stemmed from a murder case four years ago in Sta. Margarita, Samar.

The victim, Enrique Mañas, and his son, Alfred, were waylaid allegedly by the Deborbon Armed Group on July 23, 2017 on their farm.

Enrique died on the spot, but Alfred survived and managed to escape from the strafing incident.

Two of the accused were captured during a hot pursuit operation, while the others fled.

During the trial, the captured accused revealed Zosa to be allegedly the ‘mastermind’ of the killing.

This resulted in his and Arturo Deborbon, the alleged leader of the Deborbon Armed Group’s implication.

However, the petition to amend the information filed at the Regional Trial Court in Calbayog City did not progress in the prosecution for unknown reasons for years. 

It was only heard when Alfred sought the intervention of the Supreme Court.

After review, the Court ordered the National Prosecution Service to file the murder case against Zosa based on the affidavits and testimonies of the other two accused.

It also ordered to transfer the case from Calbayog RTC to Tacloban RTC, which subsequently found probable cause to proceed to trial.

Then, a warrant of arrest with no bail was issued on September 22, 2021 by the RTC Branch 46 in Tacloban.

“I am grateful that finally justice will be given to the death of my father after four years of waiting. We want them to pay for killing my father,” Alfred said. 

Although Zosa has not yet been arrested, Alfred felt relieved that he may be able to finally go back to their hometown.

“I hope he and his cohorts will surrender because what he has done is clear. He is the mastermind in killing my father,” he said. 

He added he has been living in fear for his family because two of his family members have already been killed due to their political affiliation.

A year before they were assassinated, his brother was also shot and later died by their alleged political opponents.

Earlier in media interviews, Zosa said he will face the charge against him squarely and based on merits.

He said the charges against him are trumped up. He also belied that he is influential, otherwise, his case should have been dismissed at the onset on the prosecutor’s level. “This is the third one that they filed against me. The first was murder, the second was kidnapping and this one. This could be my reward for fighting for the people of Samar,” he maintained. By Marie Tonette Marticio

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