A COMBINED team from the Eastern Police District-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (EPD-CIDG) and the Pasig Police Station raided yesterday morning the house of a father and his son which yielded firearms and ammunition. The duo were tagged “persons of interest” in the killing of a CIDG agent in Pasig City on November 30, 2018.
Reports submitted to EPD director Chief Supt. Bernabe Balba by EPD- CIDG head Chief Insp. Benigno Meneses said the suspects, identified as Julius Arabiran Panis, 60, and his son Aaron Paul Melendres Panis, 37, electrical engineer, were nabbed following an operation at their respective houses at 030-B and O30-C, Melendres Compound, Pag-Asa St., Bgy. Caniogan, Pasig City, at 6 a.m.
Balba quoted Shirley, wife of PO2 Manuel Melendres III, 48, assigned at the CIDG-National Capital Region Police Office, as saying that the arrested suspects were responsible for the death of her husband.
It was learned that the older Panis is the uncle of PO2 Melendres and the younger Panis is the cousin of the slain cop.
“Base sa wife, ’yung mga nahuling suspect sa SW ay sila umano ’yung ‘persons of interest’ sa pagpatay sa asawa n’ya, na ngayon ay patuloy naming iniimbestigahan,” Balba told Journal Group.
Meneses said the arrest of the suspects was based on a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Danilo Cruz, Pasig Regional Trial Court (RTC ) Branch 152 for violation of RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act. The raid was conducted to confiscate loose firearms which were allegedly being concealed in the house of the suspects.
“Base sa ginawang verification sa Firearms and Explosive Division sa Camp Crame, may mga unlicensed firearms ’yung mag-amang suspects,” Meneses said.
The raiding team seized three cal. .38 revolvers, 15 live ammunition, rifle propelled grenade (RPG), converted rifle cal. .22 with scope and suppressor from the house of Julius while a MK2 fragmentation hand grenade and a grenade type, tear gas were seized from the house of Aaron Paul.
Police said the wife of the slain cop pinpointed the arrested suspects who were with two other relatives who shot and killed her husband. The wife claimed she has the closed-circuit television footage (CCTVs) detailing the incident.
Initial investigation by SPO3 Ricardo Alapitan disclosed that PO2 Melendres and his wife just came home from the Pasig Public Market when the cop alighted from a Starex van in Melendres Compound on November 30 at around 11:45 p.m.
When the policeman was about to open the door of his house with his wife still inside the van, the suspects appeared from behind and shot the victim repeatedly in the body.
PO2 Melendres was declared dead upon arrival at Tri City Medical Center in Pasig City due to three gunshot wounds in the body -- two fatal in the back.
During initial investigation, Shirley told police that she did not witness the incident because she was inside the van. She said she just heard successive gunshots and later saw her husband bloodied with gunshot wounds in the body.
“Nu’ng una, sabi n’ya wala siyang nakita, wala rin witnesses, pero later on nagsalita na s’ya, hindi muna daw s’ya nagsalita nu’ng una dahil sa takot at mabulabog mga suspect at gusto muna na mailibing ang asawa, pero nakita n’ya daw mismo ’yung apat na kamag-anakan ni PO2 Melendres na dumating at nailawan n’ya mula sa kotse. Pagbaba n’ya daw nakita n’ya na umalis ang grupo ni Julius sa crime scene. Makikita din daw sa CCTV nang maganap ang krimen,” according to a police investigator.
It was learned that the slain cop had a long-time dispute with his relatives regarding millions of pesos worth of properties in Pasig City.
The Pasig police are still conducting an investigation on the incident and still gathering evidence to link the two suspects in the killing.
Charges of violation of RA 10591 are now being readied against the arrested suspects.