Roxas: Gunman in mayor’s slay high on drugs
Policy being drafted against presenting suspects in mediaBy Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Allegedly too stoned to be interrogated, the suspected gunman in the killing of Mayor Erlinda Domingo of Maconacon, Isabela, has yet to give investigators information that would lead the authorities to the mastermind, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas said Saturday.
Suspect Marsibal Abduhadi alias Bagwis was arrested by agents of the Quezon City Police District in Salaam Compound in Culiat, Tandang Sora at around 11:30 p.m. Friday night.
“According to a report from the QCPD, when they arrested Bagwis, he was so high on drugs that he cannot speak straight. So we will wait for him to give his account of what happened,” Roxas said at a press conference at Camp Crame.
Domingo was shot dead on January 24 as she was getting out of her Mitsubishi Adventure outside an inn in Quezon City. Her driver-bodyguard, Bernard Plasos, was also shot and wounded.
Abduhadi’s wife, Mary Grace, was among the three suspects arrested by police shortly after the shooting. The two others were identified as Christian Pajenado and Michael Domingo.
QCPD Director Senior Superintendent Richard Albano said in a statement that Abduhadi was arrested after he received a tip that the suspect was in Salaam Compound brandishing a sub-machine gun.
Police operatives that swooped down in the area arrested the suspect along with a woman identified as Jennifer de Guzman with whom Abduhadi was reportedly having a pot session.
Roxas said police investigators would put the pieces of the puzzle together from the accounts given by the suspects who had earlier been arrested and that of Abduhadi to get to the bottom of Domingo’s killing.
Roxas said that on the motive or the mastermind, “to say anything would be pure speculation.”
“It is better we complete the full investigative process, debrief or interrogate the suspects including Bagwis,” Roxas said.
Police said Abduhadi was also a suspect in the killings of a policeman and a woman who was shot dead in Tandang Sora last year.
Police initially announced that they would present Abduhadi to the media but at the press conference, Roxas announced that he would no longer present the suspect.
Roxas announced that the government was drafting a new policy that would “ensure the balance between the rights of a suspect or an accused and the right of the people to information.”
He said that the new policy might be announced by Monday.
In the meantime, he said, policemen would not be allowed to present suspects to the media.
Roxas said the policy might include giving the suspect a choice whether or not he wants to be presented to the media.
“We want to balance one’s human rights, because one has to be proven guilty first, and the right of the public to know,” he said.