Suspected gun-for-hire nabbed-A A +A
Thursday, January 31, 2013
POLICE filed Wednesday charges before the City Prosecutor's Office (CPO) against a man believed to be a gun-for-hire and one of three suspects in the killing of a former transport group leader and escort of a lawyer.
The slain victim was identified as Emilio de Jesus Rivera, 45, resident of Purok 2 in Paquito Gumalang of Baguio District in Davao City. He was shot dead on corner Mc Arthur Highway and Tahimik Avenue in Bangkal on Monday afternoon.
Superintendent Julius E. Silagan, chief of the Talomo police station, identified the suspect as Ricardo Alipio Lopez, alias Ricky, 49, said to be a fixer of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) who hails from Paquito Gumalang, Baguio District. He is also a transient resident at Kilometer 6 in Matina Pangi.
Silagan, in an interview, said Lopez was charged with murder and violation of the Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, after the authorities also seized illegal drugs from him.
Recovered from the possession of the suspect were his personal belongings, one Samsung brand new cellular phone, a black pouch containing one plastic sachet of suspected shabu, four aluminum foils containing residue of suspected shabu and three improvised tooters, and two disposable lighters.
The police also recovered from the suspect one Guess brown wallet containing P30,000, assorted identification cards and an expired firearm licensed and permit to carry firearm.
The suspect was brought before the CPO around 3 p.m. Wednesday for inquest proceedings.
Lopez was arrested in a manhunt operation of the Talomo Police Station at Milky Deramas Boarding House in Matina Pangi around 9:30 p.m. Monday. He is now detained at the police station.
Silagan said they learned that Lopez was the last person contacted by the victim through his phone. He said the latter was also the one who baited Rivera before he was killed.
Silagan said they are still conducting a manhunt operation against the two other suspects who remained at large as of the moment.
"We haven't yet arrested the gunman. Lopez was just an accessory [to] the crime but the main suspect is still at large. As of now, the two are nowhere to be found and we would like to believe na nandidito pa sila sa Davao," Silagan said.
In a live interview with dxAB Radyo Patrol last Tuesday, the wife of the victim said that as far as she is concerned, the only person that her husband had a quarrel with was LTFRB-Davao Director Benjamin Go.
The wife, whose name is withheld for security reasons, said the killing may have something to do with the work of her husband. She, however, made it clear that she is not accusing anybody.
Sun.Star Davao tried to contact the LTFRB director for comment but failed as the latter did not answer his phone.
Silagan said they will have to validate the report first. He said that as of now, the only evidence they have were those coming from the suspect.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 31, 2013.