Seares: Catching Imok’s killers (2)

THIS is not a case of an arrested suspect, an alleged gunman, retracting his confession. Jimmy Largo -- whom police caught last Friday, Nov. 24 and who allegedly was about to flee -- had not confessed. Instead, he denied he was the killer, in effect disputing the police theory.

Police had announced 1) Largo killed Barangay Captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta of Ermita, Cebu City and 2) it was not politics but Imok’s anti-illegal drugs campaign that led to his death.

‘Killer’s’ word

Who would believe the word of an alleged killer-for-hire whom police tag as a crime personality in the Visayas? Besides, Largo’s defense was weak as most alibis are. Although he said he had just come back to the city at about 6 p.m. from Aloguinsan town that Thursday, he would still have time to go to Liloan and do the killing, which occurred at about 9 p.m. Unless, he could prove that a brother of Imok and other persons saw him when the shooting was reported on radio.

Largo was said to have been “positively identified” at the scene of the crime by one Jocelyn Mendoza, Imok’s “partner” (the same title given to the common-law wife of the president).

Doubts on story

What’s happening is that the public that initially accepted the police narrative is now having some doubts about the investigators’ claim they already solved “90%” of the crime.

The detainees stout denial had a dangling piece of information intended to divert police attention. He pointed to a politician “belonging to BOPK” who allegedly offered him P150,000 to kill Rupinta. Does he have evidence of the offer? It’s his word, for now, against the expected denial of the alleged principal by induction.

Police said they know the mastermind already. Is he the same person who Largo said offered him money for the contract to kill?

Evidence plus

Apparently, there is need for evidence other than the finger-pointing by Largo. Just as there is need for additional evidence against Largo other than the identification made by Mendoza.

And the motive? Could be animosity from politics along with the grievance against Imok’s anti-illegal drugs campaign. Having Imok as political leader in Ermita until the next barangay elections would be as odious as Imok’s labeling of houses and maligning the occupants.

Politics, drug war

It could be both politics and the drug war. But it would be ironic for Imok to have been killed because of his anti-drug stance when he and seven barangay councilors last Jan. 16 were suspended because of alleged coddling of drug traffickers.

Only full resolution of the mystery will end the swirl of speculations.
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