The Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has conducted a manhunt against ex-policeman Eduardo Acierto and seven others.
This was after they received the warrant of arrest ordered by the Supreme Court on Wednesday (April 24). Acierto and seven others were indicted due to their alleged involvement in the smuggling of billions worth of illegal drugs concealed inside magnetic lifters.
According to PNP Chief PGen. Oscar Albayalde, the tracker team of the CIDG has begun searching possible areas where they can find Acierto.
The seven individuals are former Customs Intelligence Officer Jimmy Guban and former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Deputy Director for Administration Ismael Fajardo; importers Chan Yee Wah, alias KC Chan; Zhou Quan, alias Zhang Quan; consignees Vedasto Cabral Baraquel Jr. and Maria Lagrimas Catipan of Vecaba Trading; and Emily Luquingan.
They are facing charges for unlawful importation of illegal drugs pursuant to Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
MANILA, Philippines – Two convicts detained at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) allegedly orchestrated the grisly killing of former Batangas Representative Edgar Mendoza and his two aides, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.
PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director Brig. Gen. Joel Coronel identified the principal suspect as Sherwin Sanchez, who has been imprisoned since 2015 for murder charges.
Investigation revealed that Sanchez was a client of Mendoza, a lawyer who handled his transactions concerning financial and properties.
Sanchez did not pay Mendoza for his services after the former was convicted.
Sanchez allegedly conspired with his fellow detainee, Arthur Fajardo, to have Mendoza killed.
Fajardo, a member of the Fajardo kidnap-for-ransom group who has been detained at the state penitentiary since 2005, then contacted his wife, Jael, who allegedly hired the killers.
Mendoza and his companions, bodyguard Nicanor Mendoza and driver Ruel Ruiz, were found burnt inside the former solon’s car in Tiaong, Quezon Province on January 9.
The day before they were killed, Mendoza and his aides went to the home of the family of Fajardo in Calamba, Laguna supposedly to collect a sum of money owed by Sanchez.
“Apparently, on the day he disappeared, and later on found dead, he was supposed to collect a sum of money from representatives of the principal suspect in Calamba,” Coronel said.
Investigation showed that Sanchez and Mendoza had disagreements on the amount for his legal services but later agreed on a sum amounting to millions of pesos.
However, Sanchez had no intention of paying the amount from the start and instead hired some gunmen to kill Mendoza. He allegedly contracted the killers for the sum of P100,000.
“There was a disagreement on the amount to be collected and also base on the revelations of the witnesses and some of the suspects’ confession, there was really no intention on the part of the suspect to the amount agreed by them,” Coronel said.
Police identified Sanchez and Fajardo’s cohorts as Jael Fajardo, Arthur’s wife; Madonna Palermo, Jael’s household worker; Kristine Fernandez, Jael’s errand runner; Carlo Acuña and Erickson Balbastro who were said to be members of the Fajardo kidnap-for-ransom group.
The five suspects were arrested by authorities on January 22.
Police found that prior to their murder, Mendoza and his aides were drugged with coffee laced with sleeping pills while they were in Fajardo’s home. They were later stabbed and struck in the head with a hard object.
The three victims were already dead when their remains were brought and burned in Tiaong, based on Balbastro’s statement.
Coronel said the suspects’ target was only Mendoza and that the two aides were “collateral damage.”
Police said they are hunting down a certain Rodel Mercado, said to be the one who stabbed and struck the victims.
PNP chief Archie Gamboa said three counts of murder have been filed against the suspects.
“This case is considered solved and it is now elevated in the prosecution office arm of the justice system,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – Police officers deployed within the 14-kilometer permanent danger zone around the restive Taal Volcano will be pulled out, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Wednesday.
PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the directive was based on the advisory of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) due to the persisting danger it presents despite weakening volcanic activities.
“Ilalabas na natin ang mga pulis beyond the circumferential line, meron tayong mga risk control point na itatalaga at doon lamang mananatili ang mga pulis natin para na rin sa safety ng mga pulis,” he said.
Banac assured that policemen will continue to secure evacuation centers and areas on lockdown amid the Taal Volcano unrest.
The PNP official also urged remaining holdouts to flee their homes for their own safety following reports of residents ignoring the risks and government advisory to try to go home to fetch their belongings.
Taal Volcano remains under alert level 4, which means that a hazardous eruption may occur within hours or days. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – Five suspects in the killing of former Batangas 2nd District Rep. Edgar Mendoza and two others are now under police custody, authorities said Wednesday.
Police Brig. Gen. Joel Coronel, director of Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP CIDG), said one of the apprehended suspects was identified as the mastermind of the crime.
The charred remains of Mendoza and two others, identified as his bodyguard Roel Ruiz and his driver Nicanor Mendoza, were found inside a burnt car in Tiaong town in Quezon Province on January 9.
Mendoza reportedly left his home to meet someone in Calamba, Laguna on the day he died. He was last seen with his driver and aide on January 7 in Lipa, Batangas.
His family reported him missing when he failed to return home.
Coronel said the motive in the grisly murder appears to be connected to financial and legal disputes.
A lawyer by profession, Mendoza handled cases related to real estate and properties after his stint in Congress.
Coronel said the arrested suspects will be face murder charges. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
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