THREE witnesses helped police investigators come up with sketches of the gunman and his driver in the fatal shooting of Engr. Ciriaco Salazar last Thursday.

Cebu City Police Office Director Patrocinio Comendador Jr. said the sketches cannot be released, however, as the suspect might be compelled to leave his hideout.

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“Naa na mi hayag nga (We have a promising) lead,” he said.

Salazar, 49, of the 4th Engineering District of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7, was gunned down in Sitio Tigbao, Barangay Talamban, Cebu City last Thursday night.

Among possible motives, a job-related angle is the most likely theory investigators are checking.

Text messages

Comendador said among the persons invited to help in the investigation were Salazar’s co-workers in the DPWH.

The victim’s cellular phone has been submitted by his family to the police, in case stored text messages provide some clues.

Comendador said Salazar received threats, some of which were sent through text messages.

The police are scheduled to meet this week with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, head of the Regional Peace and Order Council, to discuss a series of ambush attacks in the last six weeks.

Comendador said he is confident charges will soon be filed against suspects in the ambush of Rufino R. Deresas in Barangay Punta Princesa, Cebu City early last Saturday.

A motorcycle passenger shot Deresas at the corner of F. Llamas and Taurus Sts. in Punta Princesa. An old grudge is one of the possibilities being considered for motive.


Meanwhile, the lawyer of a man arrested recently for his alleged participation in the ambush of a former Compostela mayor, councilor and campaign manager vowed to press charges against the police.

Lawyer Rex Fernandez, counsel for Dominador Viloria Sr., said the arrest of Viloria and his son Dominador Jr. was illegal.

Police did not have a warrant when they arrested the Vilorias at home last Friday, on suspicion that they served as lookouts in last Monday’s fatal ambush on Joselito Reynes.

A string of criminal complaints for violation of domicile, arbitrary detention, torture and child abuse will be filed against the police this week, Fernandez said yesterday.

Viloria’s wife, Lucia, asked the court last Saturday for a writ of habeas corpus and amparo, which will compel law enforcers to present the Vilorias along with any evidence or documents they may have against them.

She also asked Judge Douglas Marigomen of the Regional Trial Court Branch 5 to issue a protection order for her family.

Named respondents to the petition were Chief Supt. Lani-o Nerez of the Police Regional Office 7, Chief Insp. Romeo Santander, chief of the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG), and “all persons acting under their command, their agents and representatives.”

Fernandez said the crime of torture applies, because Dominador Jr. was blindfolded.

Santander has previously said the police observed the Vilorias from a distance but saw the .357 revolver allegedly glinting while in Dominador Sr.’s possession.

Santander said they knocked on the door and introduced themselves as police officers because they saw the gun. When they entered the house, he said, Dominador Sr. was pointing the gun at them.

The RSOG will file charges of illegal possession of firearms against Dominador Sr. today at the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.