Richard King murder 'solved'

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Thursday, June 26, 2014


THE murder of businessman Richard King can be considered solved following the arrest of the gunman and its cohorts in Davao City, a police official said Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, a murder complaint was filed with the Davao City Prosecution Office against Supt. Leonardo Felonia, former chief of the Regional Intelligence Unit-11, who has been tagged in the crime by three other suspects in their confessions.

Felonia has been relieved from his post.

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In a media briefing Wednesday at the PNP National Headquarters, Police Regional Office (PRO) Davao Region Director Wendy Rosario said the important details in the case have been accomplished by the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) “King,” the group tasked to look into the slay case.

The police official said investigation pointed to “business and hatred” as the motives of the murder.

“(King) had a partner in the construction business, which is reportedly losing. We are looking into that,” he said.

Investigators took note of internal conflicts within the victim’s business ventures, particularly over the alleged mismanagement of one of his co-owned companies that has resulted in losses estimated at P150 million.

Rosario, however, said the investigation will continue until the case can be closed.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director Vicente Danao Jr. said they are still checking for other personalities behind King’s death.

“Maybe there is still a mastermind out there. We are still checking on other possible motives,” added Danao.

Memorandum receipt

Aside from the confessions of brothers Rommel and Rodel dela Cerna, and alleged triggerman Paul Dave Labang, police found a memorandum receipt issued by Felonia to Rommel.

Rommel was allegedly the one whom Felonia instructed to look for King at the latter’s office while Rodel drove the getaway motorcycle. King died on the spot after he was shot last June 12.

Danao said that a month ago, Felonia reportedly issued a memorandum receipt for Rommel’s firearm.

“That is one proof that the two might really know each other,” said Danao in a phone interview.

He added that the issuance of memorandum receipt by Felonia is also a violation since police officials are reportedly not allowed to do so.

The confessions, meanwhile, have been submitted to Prosecutor Panfilo Lovitos, who is currently resolving the case.

First arrested

Meanwhile, PRO 11 spokesperson, Chief Insp. Jed Clamor clarified Wednesday that Labang was arrested first last Sunday, June 22.

Labang was arrested after police received information about the presence of an armed man in front of GAP farm in Barangay Ma-a. Seized from Labang was a .45 caliber pistol loaded with 14 bullets in two magazines.

Labang was also tagged in a text message of ‘Isumbong mo kay CD Text Hotline’ as the person wearing a white shirt and brown short pants who shot King, said Clamor in a statement. Five other witnesses have tagged Labang as the gunman.

The dela Cernas turned themselves in to the DCPO Investigation and Detection Management Branch early Monday morning upon learning that Labang has been arrested. (Sunnex/Sun.Star Davao with JTR)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 26, 2014.

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