Palace says killing of Kua ‘isolated’
Cops say ex-tourism exec shot when he fought attackers in subdivisionBy Christine Avendaño, Maricar Cinco
Inquirer Southern Luzon, Philippine Daily Inquirer
CAMP PACIANO RIZAL, Laguna—Malacañang on Tuesday said the killing of columnist Nixon Kua was a “singular incident” that didn’t mirror the peace and order situation in the country but that officials were closely watching developments in the case, including the arrest of four suspects.
“We are watching the case and we are hoping that justice for Mr. Kua will be achieved soon,” said Abigail Valte, one of President Aquino’s spokespersons.
“It’s a singular event that we believe is not reflective of the entire situation,” Valte said.
Kua, also former chief of the Philippine Tourism Authority, might have been shot after he fought his attackers, according to the police.
Chief Supt. James Melad, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) police director, in a press conference held following the arrest of four suspects on Tuesday, said police are looking for a fifth suspect.
Kua, 49, suffered a single gunshot in the eye and died at 10:35 p.m. Monday at Calamba Medical Center (not Calamba Doctors’ Hospital as earlier reported by the police).
“There could have been an insider. How did the suspects know [Kua] would be there, at that exact time, and that he was carrying money,” Senior Supt. Gilbert Cruz, Laguna police director, said.
The suspects are detained here at the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to undergo tests for gunpowder and drug use.
They would be charged with robbery and homicide and attempted homicide.
Melad, in an interview on the conference sidelines, said Kua had struggled to fight back which could have prompted the suspects to shoot him.
“When one of the suspects grabbed [the daughter’s] bag, [Kua] came up to her daughter and they both struggled not to let go of the bag. That was when [one of the suspects] shot him,” Melad said, quoting the Kua family’s initial account.
Kua’s brother, Allyxon, was shot in the shoulder by another suspect.
Kua, his wife Susan, and children Sue Anne and Daryll, were at Allyxon’s home inside the exclusive Ayala Greenfield Subdivision in Barangay Maunong to supervise the landscaping of Kua’s house being constructed in the same subdivision.
Kua and his daughter were the last to disembark from their SUV when the robbers attacked them on Saturday evening.
The robbers snatched the wife’s necklace and cell phone and the daughter’s cell phone and bag, which contained the P90,000 the family was supposed to pay for construction workers.
Initial statements by Kua’s family led to the identification of suspects John Rey Cortez, Darwin Samiano, Michael Molino, all 21; and Noel Garcia, 22, who turned themselves in on Monday evening.
Supt. Leovegildo Manaig, police chief of Calamba City, said Cortez, Samiano and Garcia surrendered to the village chief of Barangay Maunong where they lived and were turned over to the police.
The fourth suspect, Molino, surrendered two hours later and was also accompanied by village officials to the police station.
Manaig said Samiano was identified as the gunman who shot Nixon while Garcia was the one who shot Allyxon.
He said police are still looking for a fifth suspect, who may have given the tip that Kua was carrying money.
Melad said security measures at the subdivision were “porous.” “There were lapses (in security),” Melad said.