THE alleged mastermind in the killing of a Filipino-Chinese businessman in Carcar City, Cebu was arrested in Cebu City yesterday.
Jay Camotes, 33, of Barangay Poblacion I, Carcar City, was at the Chong Hua Hospital for a medical checkup when a team of Theft and Robbery Section (TRS) operatives from Cebu City Police Office served him an warrant of arrest for resistance and disobedience to a person in authority.
Camotes, who has been described by the police as one of the major players in the illegal drug business in Carcar, is tagged as the mastermind in the murder of businessman Eric Uraca, 34, who owned an establishment engaged in selling motorcycle and parts, last July 12.
Earlier, Carcar police arrested and filed charges against Rey Llanos, the alleged middleman, gunman Ronilo Montalla, 31, and motorcycle driver Lupe Gicale Jr., 24.
Llanos allegedly squealed and pointed to Camotes as the one who hired him to kill Uraca.
Camotes yielded one Colt 9mm pistol, two magazines, four assorted cellular phones and one big pack of suspected shabu estimated to be about five grams placed in a black sling bag during the arrest.
Camotes denied any involvement in the killing of Uraca. He also denied ownership of the illegal drugs allegedly recovered from him yesterday. He said he is not involved in the illegal drug trade in Carcar.
Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Erson Digal, who went to the CCPO Headquarters yesterday afternoon, said the arrest of Camotes would solve several cases related to illegal drugs and other crimes linked to the suspect’s name in Carcar.
Digal said Camotes got irked with Uraca after the victim refused to loan him motorcycle parts.
Digal said Camotes was also linked in the killing of Indian national Dohlinder Kumar in Liboron, Carcar.
Senior Insp. Bonifacio Garciano, TRS chief, said his team has been staking Camotes out since Wednesday after receiving information that the suspect would be in the hospital for a check-up of his left leg.
Camotes had accidentally shot his leg last year.
Garciano said Camotes was heading toward his dark green L300 van (GDX 399) parked near the hospital after the checkup when the arrest was made yesterday afternoon.
It was based on the July 1-warrant issued by Judge Grace Ypil of the Municipal Trial Court Cities.
Three other people—a 20-year-old woman, the van driver and Camotes’s personal assistant—were invited for questioning.
Garciano, however, said the three will be released once the police will find no basis to hold them.
Garciano said the pistol was licensed under Camotes’s name, but he had no permit to carry it outside his residence.
Garciano said the license will be submitted to the Firearms and Explosives Unit for verification.
The confiscated pack of suspected shabu was submitted to PNP 7 Crime Laboratory for analysis.
In Toledo City, police also arrested the suspected gunman in the attack of businessman Proceso Anonas, 48, owner of Four Star Hardware in Barangay Poblacion.
The arrested suspect was identified as Regie L. Togonon, 24, of Barangay Dumlog, Toledo City.
Digal said Togonon was initially arrested for possession of an unlicensed Magnum .357 revolver with four bullets, two sachets of suspected shabu and two strips of tin foil at 6:05 a.m. yesterday.
The team of Chief Insp. Jovito Canlapan of Toledo City rushed to Barangay Dumlog after receiving information about an armed person alarm which resulted in the arrest of Togonon.
After the arrest, a witness reportedly pointed to Togonon as the gunman in the killing of Anonas.
Anonas was shot dead by three men last Saturday night, in what police believed to be a robbery attempt.
Initial investigation by the police showed the suspects failed to run away with the money, as the P177,380 cash remained in his pockets. (With reports from KAL/Guam Logrono of Sun.Star Superbalita)