MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Suspected car theft syndicate leader Raymond Dominguez was convicted of carjacking on Tuesday.
Malolos Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 84 judge Wilfredo Nieves found Dominguez guilty of stealing a Toyota Fortuner from complainant Danilo Escoto last January 14, 2010, according to public prosecutor Maureen Abad Moises.
The court sentenced Dominguez to 17 to 30 years imprisonment.
It also ordered his transfer to New Bilibid Prison from his detention cell in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.
Moises said the guilty verdict came after two witnesses and a police officer testified against Dominguez. The same court, however, acquitted Dominguez in a robbery charge.
Moises said she expects Dominguez to appeal the decision before a higher court.
She said 2 other suspects, who have yet to be identified, were also implicated in the carnapping incident. The case against them was archived as they remain at large.
Dominguez and his brother, Roger, are also accused in the twin murders of used-car dealers Venson Evangelista and Emerson Lozano in 2011. Both of them denied having a hand in the killings.
Last month, the van Dominguez was riding was strafed while he was on his way back to Camp Bagong Diwa from a court hearing involving the Evangelista case at the Quezon City Hall of Justice.
The Palace, meanwhile, lauded Moises for securing the conviction of Dominguez.
“We congratulate Public Prosecutor Maureen Abad Moises for her capable handling of the case. Its resolution proves that with honest and committed public servants, our judicial system can work effectively toward fulfilling its duties to the public,” said Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacieda in a statement.