POLICE Major Junji Liba, chief of Moises Padilla Municipal Police Station in Negros Occidental, said on Wednesday, April 3, that a criminal complaint for murder was already filed on Tuesday, April 2 against nine adults and two minors, who were allegedly behind the killing of reelectionist Councilor Jolomar Hilario in the town over the weekend.
However, Liba said the arrested persons availed themselves of their right for a preliminary investigation.
The fiscal can decide if there’s a probable cause on the complaint or none, after 15 days.
Nine of them are detained at the police station while the two minors, aged 15, were turned over to their parents for proper custody until warrants of arrest can be served to them when they reached their legal age, Liba said.
The suspects, who claimed to be farmers, were arrested after they were reportedly seen fleeing from their hideout by members of the 2nd platoon of the Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company (Nocpmfc) during clearing operations in Barangay Sebucauan, Isabela town on April 1, following a clash between the military troops and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Quintin Remo Village in the neighboring town of Moises Padilla.
No names were given by the police as of press time.
Four of them were positively identified by witnesses and the victim’s wife as suspects behind the death of Hilario but the remaining seven persons were also included in the filing of the case as accessories to the crime.
On March 31, Hilario was killed by about 50 alleged NPAs in front of his family inside his residence in Barangay Inolingan.
But, despite their arrest, Liba said they will continue to monitor their other colleagues who are still at large.
Police are looking into three angles, which include politics and grudge as the possible motives.
Meanwhile, the NPA, in an interview with Aksyon Radyo Bacolod on Tuesday, admitted killing Hilario, claiming he was an asset of the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army.
The group denied knowing the 11 arrested persons, whom they claimed to be workers of a hacienda in the said town.