Get Morales killers, Binay directs policeBy Mar S. Arguelles
Inquirer Southern Luzon
MALINAO, Albay—Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday directed the police here to speed up the investigation of and find the culprits in the killing of Nelson B. Morales, Makati city engineer and Albay provincial chair of Binay’s party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Malinao Vice Mayor Alice Morales, the sister of the slain UNA leader, told the Inquirer that Binay, at a private meeting with Morales’ family, directed Albay police director Senior Superintendent Ruben Sodsod to intensify the manhunt against the five suspects identified by witnesses from the police rogue photo gallery.
Binay, the vice mayor said, has assured them that he would personally see to it that justice would swiftly prevail.
One suspect, identified as Roderick Saysay Sarahan, 37, of Molosbulos, Libon, Albay, is now in police custody. Another, Christian Saysay, 22, who was identified as one of the gunmen, was found dead at the Josefina Belmonte Memorial District Hospital in Ligao City, a few hours after the Sept. 7 killing of Morales with a bullet wound in the abdomen believed to have been fired by Raul Capitan, the security aide of the slain Morales who was also wounded in the attack.
The vice mayor said Binay also asked for a deeper investigation to identify the mastermind as initial investigation revealed that the suspects were hired gunmen and former military personnel.
Binay, interviewed after the meeting, said it was still speculative to say that politics is behind the killing of Morales, saying the case needed further investigation.
Morales planned to run for town mayor next year challenging incumbent Mayor Billy Ceriola.
Binay and his son Junjun, the mayor of Makati City, arrived here to pay their last respects to Morales who served as the city engineer of Makati when Binay was the mayor of the city and until his son Junjun took over as chief executive.
Binay, speaking before hundreds of supporters and mourners clad in yellow, black and white
T-shirts bearing Morales’ picture and gathered at the Morales residence here, praised and thanked Morales, describing him as a hardworking city officer.
Hundreds of mourners and supporters joined the funeral march that brought Morales’s remains to the town cemetery.
Morales was gunned down on Sept. 7 while walking at the Estancia Church grounds in Malinao after attending a wedding ceremony there.
Supt. Paulino Belga, Albay PNP deputy provincial director for administration, said Sarahan was found positive of powder burns.
The suspects identified by witnesses at the police rogue photo gallery to be at the scene of the crime were brothers Gilbert and Ramson Concepcion, both former Army soldiers assigned in Sorsogon and dishonorably discharged from the service due to their alleged involvement in criminal activities; a Wilfredo Sasota; and two others only known as Peter and Alan.
Belga said the fugitives carry the middle name of Saysay and are all residents of Barangay Molosbulos in Libon.