Inquest murder raps filed

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014


THE Davao City Prosecutor’s Office extended its office hours Monday night after authorities brought the suspects tagged in the murder of businessman Richard King for inquest proceedings around 8:40 p.m.

Facing murder charges are Rommel dela Cerna, his brother Rodel, and Paul Dave Molina Labang. The complaint was filed by the brother of the victim, James King.

It was reported earlier that Rommel turned himself in to the Davao City Police Office on Friday while Labang and Rodel were arrested Sunday.

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Rommel confessed that he was the first to enter the Vital C office in Sobrecarey St., to check if King was there. He then verified the presence of their target to Labang who Rommel pointed out as the gunman.

Rodel, meanwhile, was the driver of the motorcycle which served as the getaway vehicle.

Labang is also facing additional charges after authorities seized a caliber .45 ACP Series 80 Colt Mark IV pistol with serial number FN33020 with six live ammos and a magazine with seven live ammos.

But while the three suspects were charged, a source from the City Prosecutor’s Office who refused to be named for lack of authority to speak, said the high-ranking police official was already included in the affidavit of complaint, yet the charges against him were not officially recorded in the City Prosecution Office's regular filing logbook since authorities had a lapse in the filing procedures.

The source said the chief of the Regional Intelligence Unit Senior Superintendent Leonardo Felonia whom Rommel tagged as the police officer who ordered Labang to carry out the assassination was included in the affidavit of complaint in the murder case.

But his name was not tallied in the logbook as police were supposed to fill up the regular filing form for a separate complaint against Felonia.

The affidavit, on the other hand, was not made available for the media as it was already submitted for resolution to Prosecutor Panfilo Lovitos.

In another development, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Davao City Chapter lawyer Caesar Europa has already stepped in as the legal counsel for Felonia in any case that the murder charges will be pressed against the latter.

Europa said, "I engaged in a conversation with him (Felonia). So it's confirmed. I am free to say that I am acting as his lawyer. Yesterday (Monday), he went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and of course, it is the desire of anyone who is accused in the case to clear his name that is why he submitted himself for an investigation. But that was before we had a conversation. So as his lawyer, I advise him that if there any questions for him, he could course it through me since his answers may be subject to different interpretations."

He added that he has yet to receive any complaint on his client.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 25, 2014.

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