Robbery, homicide cases filed vs suspects in de Lima aide killing-A A +A
Monday, October 22, 2012
THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed Monday charges of robbery with homicide against members of a notorious robbery hold-up gang believed to be responsible for the killing of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s security aide last May.
Charged before the Department of Justice (DOJ) were Ritchie John Cahinta, Almario Rentillosa, Jun Bellera, Ferdinand Paragas and Chris de la Cruz.
They were tagged in the killing of Alister Quintos, a member of the DOJ's Intelligence Service Operations group (Isog), who also served as closed-in security of de Lima.
Quintos, 32, was found dead on a road in San Ildefonso, Bulacan.
Of the five suspects, only Cahinta and Rentillosa are in the custody of the police in connection with another robbery incident, while three others remain at-large.
Cahinta and Rentillosa belonged to a same group earlier arrested by the Parañaque police following a police operation before dawn of October 6, 2012 along Dr. A. Santos Avenue (formerly Sucat Avenue) in Parañaque.
NBI Special Task Force chief Roland Argabioso said the case against the suspected robbers stemmed from the complaint of Adrian Quintos, brother of the slain aide of de Lima.
In its investigation, the NBI said that last May 10, Quintos, who was seated at the rear portion of a Mitsubishi Adventure van (TXO 215), was shot dead by one of the robbers minutes after he boarded an unregistered taxi on Marcos Highway on his way home to Antipolo City.
The NBI gave weight to the testimony of one of its witnesses who claimed to have seen Quintos flagging down and going onboard an unregistered public vehicle after eating his dinner at a pares-pares outlet in Masinag, Antipolo City.
The bureau's robbery homicide theory was further bolstered by the confession of Rentillosa, who had admitted participation in the crime.
Rentillosa, in his narration before NBI investigators, recounted that Cahinta and three others forced Quintos to act as their driver.
He said the suspects even victimized at least two passengers hours before they picked up Quintos and a still unidentified lesbian in Masinag.
After a while, Quintos tried to disarm Bellera, resulting in a tussle with the latter being shot.
According to Rentillosa, Paragas held Quintos' arms while Cahinta shot the victim in the chest, killing him instantly.
The lesbian, on the other hand, reportedly jumped out of the vehicle while the commotion between Quintos and the suspects were taking place, Rentillosa added.
The suspects then dropped Quintos' body off the road in San Ildefonso, Bulacan, while the victim's belongings were somewhere in Baliwag, Bulacan.
Rentillosa added that they brought Bellera to the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City for treatment.
Argabioso said police have verified that Bellara was brought to the said hospital by a certain Chris de la Cruz due to a gunshot injury.
"The East Avenue Medical Center and the Quezon City Police District Office – Police Station 5 issued a certification confirming the said report," Argabioso said. (JCV/Sunnex)