MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City Police District has ruled out foul play in the shooting of outgoing Cagayan de Oro Representative Benjo Benaldo and said that it was only the lawmaker who could really say what happened.
“The possibility of foul play, that’s negative. What’s being looked at is what happened. I think it’s only the congressman who can answer that when he’s well,” said Senior Superintendent Richard Albano, QCPD director, Friday.
Albano said investigation showed that Benaldo was alone inside his office at the House of Representatives when the incident happened.
Albano also said there wasn’t any other access to the room of the congressman.
“If you look at it, it was a big room and there’s no other door inside where one can enter or exit . . . So anyone can be seen going inside,” he said in Filipino.
The police official quoted Benaldo’s staff as saying that the lawmaker was alone when they rushed to his room after hearing gunfire.
Benaldo was rushed to the New Era Hospital in Quezon City after he was found with a gunshot wound Thursday evening.
Asked if Benaldo could have attempted suicide, Albano said he could not make any assumptions yet as police didn’t find any suicide note, adding that it is also possible that the incident was only an accident.
“We didn’t say yes or no,” he said.
He said follow up investigations would look into how the firearm was brought inside Congress undetected.
Albano said the 9-millimeter bullet, hit Benaldo’s chest, and exited at his back, before it hit the window jalousie.
He quoted Benaldo’s staff as saying that the congressman owns the 9mm gun. Its registration papers will be checked within the day.
Albano said the investigation would stop if the congressman wishes not to pursue the case.
Radio reports said Benaldo was now in stable condition at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City.
Benaldo has been in the limelight in the past few weeks due to alleged marital problems he was having with wife Brazilian model and actress Daiana Menezes.