Standing before the court, the suspect in the Valentines Day killing of a radio blocktimer and businessman pleaded “not guilty” during the arraignment proceedings after his motion to quash was denied.
Jovani Celocia Orenia stood before Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 2 Presiding Judge Jennifer Chavez-Marcos on August 17, 2015 to answer accusations that he shot to death Engr. Maurito Ramirez Lim on February 14, 2015.
The arraignment will set off an ordeal of jail trips and prison time for Orenia who is also facing charges of violation of the provisions of RA 9165 known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Lim died from a single bullet wound allegedly fired by Orenia using a caliber .45 handgun right in front of radio station DYRD in B. Inting St. before his 11AM radio program “Chairman Mau on Board Banat” which he co-hosted with former OIC Governor Atty. Victor Dela Serna.
An information for the crime of murder under article 248 of the Revised Penal Code was filed by Assistant City Prosecutor Fara Ricarda Parras-Matuod on April 14, 2015 against Orenia for “willfully, unlawfully and feloniously” with “premeditation and treachery” and “not giving the victim any chance to defend himself and with intent to kill shoot Engr. Maurito Ramirez Lim”.
Orenia was collared by “Task Force Mau” led by Police Senior Inspector Jojit Mananquil, Chief, Intelligence and Investigation of the Bohol Provincial Police Office during a buy bust operation on March 6, 2015, twenty one days after Lim’s cold blooded murder.
Police authorities led by Bohol Provincial Director Dennis Agustin launched a massive manhunt against Orenia after a military asset tipped off the police about the identity of a person who had personal knowledge on the whereabouts of Orenia who was fingered by a lone eyewitness of the murder and two close friends of Lim.
The joint police team allegedly found Orenia in possession of a Caliber .45 Colt pistol tucked in his knee length shorts and eleven rounds of live ammunition and eleven plastic packs of methamphetamine hydrochloride known as shabu weighing an estimated .22 grams.
According to a Firearms Identification Report No. FAIS-42-2015 the cartridge case fired from a Caliber .45 recovered from the crime scene on February 14, 2015 “revealed the same residual characteristics with the test cartridge cases fired from the Caliber 45 Colt pistol recovered from Orenia.
The result of the crossmatching Â examination bolstered the police case against Orenia who hails from Buenavista, Bohol and who was also tagged by the security guard on duty at the time of the killing and two close friends of Lim.
Violyfer Casimsiman of Bisda Barte Investigation Security Detective Agency who was on a 24 hour duty at DYRD told police investigators that before the suspect left the crime scene on board a motorcycle “he looked back at me twice, this time the cloth that partly covered his face was lowered thereby exposing his face”.
Casimsiman further testified that “when he boarded his motorcycle, he again looked at me and I clearly saw his face and had clear picture of his eyes, nose and mouth”.
Orenia was positively identified from a police rogue gallery picture no. 14 by Casimsiman saying in his sworn statement to the police “I was stunned because it seems as if I was looking to the same person whom I saw outside the driver’s seat of Engr. Lim when he was shot to death on February 14, 2015”.
A joint affidavit executed by Police Senior Inspector Jacinto Mandal, Jr, the then Chief Criminal Investigation Section of the Tagbilaran City Police Station (TCPD) and Police Officer1 Jeus Francis Monton, Criminal Investigator of the TCPD said that friends of Lim saw a suspicious male person in the vicinity of a restaurant inside the Tagbilaran Integrated Bus Terminal in Brgy. Dao, a day before the murder “believed to be spotting the victim in the place but later disappeared when the victim Engr. Lim was not yet around”.
The witnesses picked picture No, 14 from a rogues gallery of the Bohol District Jail in Talibon, Bohol and identified Orenia who at that time was convicted and detained for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.
Orenia entered into a plea bargain deal and was granted probation that would have taken effect on March, 2015.
Rumored to have been paid P80,000.00 for the killing of Lim for an alleged botched land deal, Orenia thru his lawyer, Atty. Brian Carlo Carandang opted to present his defense upon the completion of the prosecution’s presentation of their evidence.
Lim was mercilessly shot while inside his maroon colored Izuzu Crosswind vehicle while waiting to go on air at 11AM on February 14, 2015. Lim succumbed to a single bullet wound a few hours later at the Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital. (Chito M. Visarra/Bohol Chronicle)