MANILA, Philippines—Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo directed the Philippine National Police on Monday to go after the remnants of the notorious Dominguez carjacking group which he believes to be responsible for the death of star witness Alfred Mendiola in Cavite early Sunday.
“I believe that the remnants of the Dominguez carjacking group killed Mendiola. The group’s leaders, the brothers Roger and Raymund Dominguez, have the strongest motives to do him harm because of his testimony about the Venson Evangelista murder case,” Robredo said.
He ordered the PNP, particularly the Highway Patrol Group (HPG), to work for the arrest of the suspects in the death of Mendiola and two others, who were found bound, gagged and with gunshot wounds to their heads in Salawag, Dasmariñas, Cavite around 6:30 a.m. Sunday.
“The PNP-HPG should determine the relationship of Mendiola to the two other dead persons found beside him. The two unidentified victims could give the investigators the additional leads they need to bolster and resolve their case,” he said.
Formerly an accused in the Venson Evangelista murder case, Mendiola, also known as “Bading”, later turned state witness under the Department of Justice’s Witness Protection Program against the Dominguez brothers who are both facing car theft and homicide charges relative to the slaying.
But while under the custody of the QCPD, Mendiola’s request before the Department of Justice to be transferred to the Malolos City provincial jail was granted.
Mendiola escaped harm just last year after unidentified men lobbed a grenade inside his detention cell in the Malolos City Jail. He escaped death after unidentified men lobbed a grenade inside his detention cell in the city also last year.
Also, Robredo advised other witnesses in the cases against the Dominguez brothers to take extra precaution and seek for police protection if necessary “so as not to make a repeat of what happened to Mendiola.”
Reports said police were also digging into the possible links of the Dominguez brothers with the killing of a certain Cristina Roxas last January. Roxas, a gas station owner, filed criminal charges against Raymund Dominguez for the theft of her sport utility vehicle. She was gunned down on board a jeepney in Malolos, Bulacan after testifying in a city court against Raymund.
Linked to the Evangelista case, DILG said that Raymund was convicted last April 16 of car theft by the Malolos City Regional Trial Court filed by one Dante Escoto who lost a Toyota Fortuner on January 14, 2010 in Marilao, Bulacan. He was sentenced to serve up to 30 years of imprisonment and had been transferred to the New Bilibid Prison’s maximum security area.
His brother Roger, who is under detention at the Quezon City Jail, was earlier arrested for traffic violation and detained in connection with the allegedly related deaths of car traders Evangelista and Emerson Lozano.
Evangelista’s body was found in Nueva Ecija while Lozano’s body was found in Tarlac, Tarlac in January 2011, the DILG said.
Roger and Raymund Dominguez, including their henchmen, are facing numerous car theft cases in various courts in Bulacan, Pampanga and Metro Manila.