THE suspected mastermind in the ambush in Mandaue City refused to identify who ordered her to stage the attack, saying she is ready to face charges.

Upon her arrest last Saturday, suspect Marites Velasco allegedly told the police somebody hired her to harass Raquel, the daughter of Debbie Yu.

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Yu and her driver Sonny Boy Mahilum were ambushed last Aug. 4. Mahilum died three days


But while Velasco remained mum, the mother of her live-in partner John Joy Palopalo filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus for the release of her son and the other suspects.

Nerisa Palopalo, through her counsel Rolando Tiempo, questioned the warrantless arrests of the suspects last Saturday.

Named respondent in the petition was Chief Insp. Elmer Fernandez, head of the Investigation and Detective Management Bureau of the Mandaue City Police Office.

The petition will be heard today.

Fernandez filed last Tuesday a murder complaint against Velasco, John Joy, Rodelito Buenavista, Orbel Inihao, suspected gunman Aldrin Montecalvo and Ike Palopalo, who remains at large.

Fernandez filed yesterday morning an attempted murder complaint against all six suspects.

Complaints for illegal possession of firearms were also filed against Velasco and John Joy.

The suspects initially admitted they shot the elder Yu by mistake.

Three of the suspects also said Velasco masterminded the attack.

The Mandaue City Office of the Clerk of Court is yet to receive the complaints so the court could issue a commitment order for the suspects to be detained at the Mandaue City Jail.

Based on the affidavits of three civilian witnesses and a policeman, they said they saw Montecalvo fire at Yu's vehicle.

The civilians took down the plate number of the gunman's motorcycle.

PO2 Cedric Castillo, one of the witnesses, said he chased the gunman and driver but failed to arrest them.

Through the plate number, the police was able to trace the motorcycle’s registration to Velasco, who allegedly introduced herself as Ligaya Bacus when she bought the motorcycle from its owner.

The motorcycle was used as a service vehicle for Velasco's lending business.

Buenavista, in his extra-judicial confession, said he served as a lookout for a fee of P10,000.

Inihao admitted driving the motorcycle while John Joy and Ike Palopalo informed them the target was coming.

But Tiempo said Inihao and the other suspects were “pressured to act as state witnesses.”

Tiempo, in his petition, also said Fernandez arrested the suspects last Aug. 7 without informing them of the nature of the charges or if any were filed against them.

Apart from the warrantless arrests, Tiempo alleged the police ransacked the belongings of the suspects and confiscated some of them without issuing confiscation receipts.

He said the detention of the suspects is illegal, improper and unjustified and urged the court for their immediate release.

Assistant Prosecutor Felixberto Geromo, in an interview, said based on the statements of the suspects and the civilian witnesses, he believes a crime was committed.