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PNP names mastermind in Gen. Tinio, NE Mayor Ferdinand Bote’s slay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has named the mastermind in the assassination of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote.

According to Police Region 3 Director PCSupt. Amador Corpus, it was Christian Saquilabon, owner of Forthright Construction, who was behind the crime; adding that a conflict over a P69M-worth of contract for the construction of Minalungao Tourism Area was the motive of the killing.

“The motive of the incident is associated with projects and business contracts. Away sa negosyo, away po sa kontrata at projects,” said Corpus.

Corpus said the contract was awarded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to Forthright Construction. However, the Mayor allegedly was pressuring the construction firm given that it was Mayor Bote who requested DPWH to develop the road way to Minalungao. PNP is still investigating if someone of higher authority than Saquilabon ordered the assassination. Saquilabon is a member of the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC).

“That is part of our investigation. We don’t want to divulge that dahil ongoing pa. Ang ginagawa natin once na file ang kaso, we will be filing a hold departure order para hindi siya makalabas ng bansa,” Corpus said.

Meanwhile, according to PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Police Director Roel Obusan, authorities now identified eight individuals involved in the crime, three of them are now under the custody of the PNP.

Two of them were Florencio Suarez and Robert Gumatay who were arrested last week at a checkpoint in Camarines Sur while the third suspect was Architect Arnold Gamboa, the driver of the suspects’ getaway vehicle, who voluntarily surrendered to authorities. The black Toyota Avanza was seen entering the chapel gate of INC after the shooting.

“Sa investigation namin, si Arnold Gamboa, si architect ay tagaroon malapit lang sa kapilya ng Iglesia. Second, karamihan dito na nakikita ninyo ay members ng Iglesia ni Cristo that’s why the regional director of PRO3 ay in close coordination with the administration of Iglesia ni Cristo,” said Obusan.

Though the investigation is still underway, the PNP considered the case as solved. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo

 

 

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Gunman’s firearm matches bullet shells in Batocabe twin slay – PNP

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, January 7th, 2019

Mugshots of suspects in Batocabe slay case

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is confident of having a strong case against the suspects in the killing of Ako Bicol Party list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and SPO1 Rolando Diaz.

Based on the results of the ballistic exam conducted by the PNP Crime Laboratory, Police Chief DG Oscar Albayalde revealed that the bullet slugs and shells found at the crime scene matched with the Norinco caliber .40 pistol registered under one of the suspects, Henry Yuson.

“Iyong 11 shells na 50 at 5 slugs ay nag-match doon sa license firearms ni Yuson na sinabi niya na ginamit niya doon sa crime scene. So nag-positive iyan. Nag-match according to the finding of the Crime Lab. That will now boost our case,” the PNP Chief said,

Yuson, in his affidavit, admitted to using his own licensed firearm when the caliber .45 pistol which they bought for the assassination, jammed.

According to PNP records, the registration of Yuson’s Norinco caliber .40 has been expired since 2015.

He also admitted in his affidavit that after Batocabe, he then shot at the lawmaker’s police escort SPO1 Diaz.

Yuson said he also sustained gunshot wounds to the arm and to the side as somebody from the lawmaker’s end exchanged fire with them but he couldn’t verify who.

Albayalde said, they will continue with the investigation even after six of the suspects surrendered to check if there are other individuals involved in the crime.

“Hindi namin isinasara ang imbestigasyon dito. In fact, meron din tayong tinitingnan kung bakit nasa Masbate itong dalawa. Kung sino ang kumukopkop sa kanya. Puwedeng sibilyan, puwedeng politician. These are all part of our investigation kaya open ang investigation namin dito,” the PNP Chief concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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PNP takes custody of two suspects-turned-witnesses in Batocabe slay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

Batocabe murder crime scene | Photo courtesy of Daraga MPS

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Two suspects in the killing of Ako Bicol Party list representative Rodel Batocabe have surrendered and are now under the custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The two suspects were turned into witnesses for the information they know about the crime and according to Pnp Spokesperson PCSupt. Benigno Durana Jr., they are now being investigated.

“Ini-interview sila ngayon. Let’s see if out of these witnesses we can get suspects. Ongoing ang investigation,” Durana confirmed.

Durana said the testimony of the witnesses will help the authorities identify the rest of the suspects and hopefully the mastermind behind the crime.

“Their testimonies can shed light into the case and that it may or may not give us a positive lead that will lead us to the perpetrators including the mastermind,” Durana said.

A source told UNTV that the two suspects-turned-witnesses were former soldiers.

One of them was involved in the planning of Batocabe’s assassination while the other one was responsible for scouting potential gunmen.

According to the source, the two witnesses identified an Albay politician as the mastermind in the crime and the one who provided cash and motorcycles as getaway vehicles for the suspects.

They added that the politician’s personal driver was among those who helped the gunmen escape.

The two witnesses also revealed that said politician-mastermind offered P3 million pesos to the suspects to execute the killing of Cong. Batocabe.

Until now, they said, the mastermind has not yet paid them.

The two suspects-turned-witnesses surrendered as they wanted the P50 million pesos reward money.

Their decision was also out of fear for their safety.

The PNP and the Batocabe family, meanwhile, are set to file formal charges of murder and frustrated murder against the remaining six to eight suspects linked to the assassination of Rep. Batocabe. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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PNP remains clueless on suspects in the Cotabato bombing

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

 

 

 

 

FILE PHOTO: PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) remains blank as to the suspects in the bombing in South Seas Mall in Cotabato City on Monday (December 31).

Two people died and 34 others injured in the blast that happened in broad daylight when shoppers were busy ahead of the new year celebration.

According to PRO-12 Spokesperson PSupt. Aldrin Gonzales, the Special Investigation Task Group is still ongoing with its investigation on the incident, though the process has been difficult as no one or no group has admitted the incident as of today.

“Ongoing pa po ang investigation na ginagawa ng SITG at iintayin natin ang official findings nila,” Gonzales said.

Nevertheless, the PNP is currently examining the videos captured on CCTV in the area and the testimonies of the witnesses.

Gonzales, meanwhile, confirmed that the PNP-12 Explosive and Ordnance Division is verifying the signature imprinted into the improvised explosive device (IED) used in the incident.

“Andon pa sa EOD ang mag shrapnel at ibang sangkap ng IED na pumutok at sinusuri pa nila and hopefully this following day ay mailabas na ng IED kung anong signature at doon din tayo makapag conclude kung anong grupo ang nasa likod nito,” Gonzales added.

It can be recalled that in August, authorities matched the signature imprinted on the IED used in the Isulan bombing with the one recovered in the botched attack in Koronadal in Region 12.

The IEDs were detonated using a cellular phone as triggering device and the powers source was identified to be a 9 volts battery. The container of both IEDs were also similar, a water pump barrel or a jetmatic.

Gonzales also confirmed that the 34 wounded in the blast are now recovering in the hospital. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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