Mutilated corpse found in Tarlac is missing Court of Appeals judge, say investigators

Coconuts Manila
·2 min read

The mutilated corpse that was found in Capas, Tarlac in October belongs to the missing Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Normandie Pizarro, the National Bureau of Investigation said yesterday.

“Our DNA test results showed that the cadaver recovered in Tarlac are the remains of retired CA Justice Normandie Pizarro. Dental evidence gathered by our forensic team matched with the dental records of the former member of the CA,” Director Eric Distor told the news program 24 Oras.

Distor added that the judge was “brutally killed” seven days before his body was found in Tarlac. His grisly death was apparent in the state of his corpse: a finger was cut off, as well as one of his hands.

The judge, who handled several high-profile cases before retiring in 2018, was last seen boarding a black Honda Accord at the Midori Hotel and Casino in Clark, Pampanga on Oct. 23. The same vehicle was found empty the next day along Mabanak Road in San Simon, Pampanga, with its license plate missing. The authorities discovered bloodstains inside the car, which were used in the DNA test that positively identified the magistrate’s body.

Investigators have identified four “persons of interest” who may have connections to Pizarro’s killing, and added that they only need a few weeks to crack the case.

Pizarro was the judge who acquitted former Palawan governor Joel Reyes in the killing of broadcaster Gerry Ortega in Puerto Princesa in January 2011. He also cleared pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles of illegally detaining her former assistant and relative Benhur Luy in 2017.

In 2018, the judge dismissed the claims of thousands of human rights victims who sought to get a US$2 billion compensation from the Marcos family. The compensation was awarded to the victims by a Hawaii court, but Pizarro said the decision was unenforceable in the Philippines because it was “constitutionally infirm.”

The controversies surrounding the late judge go beyond his career. In 2018, he was slapped with a PHP100,000 (US$2,078) fine by the Supreme Court after an unidentified complainant accused him of being a “gambling addict.”

The province of Tarlac, a generally quiet agricultural area, recently witnessed another grisly crime. Over the weekend, a mother and son were shot to death by their enraged neighbor, a cop off-duty, for allegedly using a bamboo cannon. The incident has highlighted the culture of impunity in the Philippine National Police, which human rights advocates have accused of routinely killing suspects in the name of the Duterte drug war.

This article, Mutilated corpse found in Tarlac is missing Court of Appeals judge, say investigators, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.