PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Debold M. Sinas yesterday announced the solution of an infamous rob-slay case in Valenzuela City wherein the victim was seen being shot in the head by a motorcycle-riding assassin before the suspect and his cohorts escaped with his bag containing more than P400,000 in cash and his motorcycle last October 9.
“This is part of our stepped-up efforts to identify and arrest motorcycle-riding criminals in the country specifically those in Metro Manila as ordered by President Duterte,” the top cop told a press conference at Camp Crame.
Valenzuela City Police Station commander, Colonel Fernando R. Ortega said that non-bailable criminal charges for robbery with homicide and carnapping have been filed against the suspects.
Two of the suspects identified as civilian Edgar Batchar,43; and AWOL Police Corporal Michael Castro are now under the custody of the police while four others identified as gunman Rico Reyes alias ‘Ojam-Ojam,’21; Narciso Santiago alias ‘Tukmol,’37; , dismissed Police Officer 1 Anthony Cubos and Jo-Anne Cabatuan are still being hunted.
Cabatuan was believed to have tipped off the whereabouts and schedule of victim Niño Luegi Hernando, a 39-year old messenger of Silver Fox Business Management Solution, Inc. with office in Valenzuela City. The woman was identified as the live-in partner of a man who is now in jail for raping her teenage sister. It was Hernando’s testimony which sent the suspect to jail. Ortega said that they have also found out that Cabatuan apparently tipped off the other suspects that the victim usually withdraws at least P2 million every week from a local bank.
Sinas expressed belief that the suspects are also involved in four to five other similar cases in Metro Manila before hiding in Bulacan. “Right now, we’re conducting a backtracking on the other criminal cases but we can assure you that they cannot anymore operate in their former areas,” he said.
Ortega said that Castro confessed that their criminal activities started way back in 2015. “We have information that they are involved in three more killings and several grocery heists in Metro Manila. Sad to say, some of the suspects were still part of the PNP when they began their criminal activities,” the official said.
Sinas said the policemen-suspects obviously underwent a thorough screening which include a neuro-psychiatric test during their recruitment process but began their criminal activities in the latter part of their stay in the force.
“The PNP recruitment procedure is very rigid. But pag nag-develop ang mga pulis into criminals is beyond detection na. Kaya nga tinatanong namin kung bakit pa sila na-iinvolve sa kriminalidad gayung mataas na suweldo ng kapulisan,” the PNP chief said.
Sinas said he has ordered his men to focus their sight on this particular group which involve some policemen. “We consider them as armed and dangerous kaya tinatawagan namin ang publiko na ireport sila sa amin agad pag nakita nila. Wag kayong lumapit sa kanila dahil alam nilana hinahanap na sila at me warrant. Baka masamain nila pag me nakitang tao sa kalsada,” he added.
The PNP chief said they will also use the Valenzuela City case as a ‘template’ in investigating and solving other similar crimes. He cited an honest-to-goodness investigation and the big help they got from CCTV footages along the scene which led to the identification of the criminals.
“We’ll try our best to solve other incidents of motorcycle-riding criminals as ordered by President Duterte,” he assured the public.
Castro surrendered to the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group and confessed his role in the infamous robbery-slay case
Castro, a former member of the NPD District Drug Enforcement Unit signed an extra-judicial confession in the presence of his lawyer detailing his knowledge on the rob-slay case and tagged Cubos as their alleged ‘mastermind.’
Batchar also gave an extra-judicial confession in the presence of his lawyer identifying his cohorts in the case.
The suspect identified the driver of the black Montero as a certain ‘Sir Gerry’ who turned out to be Castro while the SUV’s passenger was one ‘Anthony Cubos’ who was described as an ex-policeman residing in Meycauayan City.
Shortly after the killing, the suspect said they met a the house of Cubos where he was given at P30,000 share.
Shortly after the video of the killing of Niño Luegi Hernando went viral last October, the then NCRPO chief ordered Northern Police District director, Brigadier Gen. Ronaldo Genaro E. Ylagan and the Valenzuela City Police Station headed by Ortega to leave no stones unturned in the investigation of the case.
An investigation showed that at around 3:30 p.m. last October 9, the victim was driving his blue Yamaha NMAX to deliver the P442,714.00 payroll of their company in Maysan Road in Valenzuela City.
However, two suspects riding a mint green Yamaha Mio motorcycle with its plate number covered with a cloth suddenly appeared from behind and the back-rider immediately shot the victim in the body thrice causing him to fall on the cemented pavement.
The incident infuriated Sinas who ordered an all-out operation to get the killers. The breakthrough in the investigation came when several netizens posted photographs and videos of the incident on Facebook, triggering another post about a mint green Yamaha Mio which was identical to the killer’s getaway.