‘I did not kill Venson,’ says alleged hitman of Dominguez carjacking gangBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It’s his word against that of a dead man.
If his story were to be believed, Rolando Talban—the alleged hitman of the Dominguez carjacking group—would appear to be the least guilty in the killing of car dealer Venson Evangelista.
Contrary to the testimony of star witness Alfred Mendiola, Talban said he was not the one who killed Evangelista in January 2011.
“He is saying the exact opposite of what Mendiola said in his sworn statement and testimony last year,” Arsenio, Evangelista’s father, told the Inquirer as he recalled his face-to-face meeting with his son’s alleged killer following Talban’s arrest last week.
According to Arsenio, Talban, who called him “Mr. Evangelista” in a meek voice, told him that he was only the one who wrapped Evangelista’s head in packing tape.
“He told me, ‘Please forgive me Mr. Evangelista, but I am not the one who killed your son,’” Arsenio said.
Before his arrest, Talban, also known as Eduardo Fernandez, Michael Villafranca and Wilson Mendoza, carried a P500,000 bounty on his head after he was tagged as the gunman in the killing of Evangelista, fellow car dealer Emerson Lozano and his driver Ernani Sensil, and car owner Teresita Teaño.
Talban, however, pointed to a man named Joel Jacinto as the one who killed Evangelista.
He also claimed that Mendiola had ordered him to buy gasoline for the burning of Evangelista’s body although the actual burning was carried out by Jayson Miranda.
“The way things are going, it will be Talban’s word against the testimony and sworn statements of a defenseless dead man,” Arsenio said.
Mendiola, an accused turned state witness, was killed by still unidentified persons who dumped his body in Cavite in May. Before his death, however, he executed sworn statements on what he knew about the deaths of Evangelista and Lozano.
Asked if he believed Talban’s claims of innocence, Arsenio said bluntly: “No.”
“That guy is a professional. He has been in jail countless times. He can transform into a meek creature,” he added.
Even then, he said he has found it in his heart to forgive his son’s killers.
“I forgive them, yes, but the law of man must prevail. They must still pay for what they did to my family,” he said.