Confessed arson suspect’s unexpected ‘not guilty’ plea sparks controversy

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY- In a surprising turn of events at the Branch 59 of the Regional Trial Court in General Santos City, Kaydence Clark Gulmatico, 30, previously a confessed suspect in the burning of 8 parked cars last November, filed a “not guilty plea” during the arraignment and pre-trial, Thursday morning.

Initially, Gulmatico had openly confessed to the crime both to law enforcement and the media after being apprehended in a hot pursuit operation.

Despite maintaining his guilt during a conversation with one of the complainants before the hearing, Gulmatico’s plea shifted during the formal court proceedings.

The complainants expressed astonishment at the sudden change, especially considering the existence of clear evidence and the suspect’s initial admission to the crime.

Post-hearing, Gulmatico allegedly disclosed to a complainant that he was advised by his lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office to enter a not guilty plea, a revelation that caught him off guard.

Currently detained, Gulmatico faces charges for violating Section 1 and 2 of PD 1613, specifically related to arson.