Alleged hired gun tagged in Bersamin slay caught casing house of new targetBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A man who confessed involvement in the 2006 murder of Abra Rep. Luis Bersamin was arrested last weekend in Quezon City while surveilling yet another target.
Lindon Alsate, 31, was collared with an accomplice, Ronald Bolor, 33, on Saturday night after the two were spotted loitering near the house of an Abra politician in Barangay (village) Bagong Silangan.
Alsate, a native of Abra, turned out to be the third most wanted criminal in the province with three outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Quezon City Police District director Senior Superintendent Richard Albano said the man admitted involvement in at least seven shootings of Abra politicians, including Bersamin.
According to Albano, most of the suspect’s targets were Abra politicians and, prior to his arrest, he was casing a new target’s house.
“He had been on the run for four years but the long arm of the law finally caught up with him,” Albano said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Albano pointed out that with the man’s arrest, the QCPD foiled yet another murder plot in Quezon City.
Batasan police station commander Supt. Ramon Pranada said Alsate admitted having done surveillance before Bersamin was shot dead as he was coming out of the Mount Carmel Church on Dec. 16, 2006.
However, Alsate has not been charged in the Bersamin murder, for which former Abra governor Vicente Valera is standing trial.
Alsate was arrested late Saturday night while he and Bolor were passing through a checkpoint on a motorcycle. Recovered from the suspects’ possession were a .22-caliber pistol loaded with ammunition in a green bag and two cell phones.
Pranada said messages in the two cell phones confirmed that the men were conducting surveillance in a plot to kill another Abra politician.
A team of 20 operatives conducted a checkpoint in the area, flagging down motorcycle riders, after receiving a call from a resident who complained that two men broke into her compound and then fled on a motorcycle.
The resident turned out to be the sister of a losing mayoral candidate in Abra. The sister would often visit her sibling in Barangay Bagong Silangan.
After Alsate’s arrest, police learned that the suspect had two outstanding warrants for frustrated murder and one for murder, all issued by Abra courts.
Both Alsate and Bolor underwent inquest proceedings over the weekend for trespassing and illegal possession of firearms before assistant city prosecutor Alessandro Jurado, who recommended bail of P62,000 each.
Interrogation later revealed that Alsate was involved in three killings and four attempted murders of Abra politicians from 2006 to 2011. Three of the cases have been filed in court.
“Most of their targets are barangay politicians in the province,” Pranada said.
Police also learned from Alsate that a hit job costs P50,000, with P10,000 going to Alsate who does the surveillance. If a hit is successful, Alsate would get a bonus of P25,000, Pranada added.
The man also claimed that there were four of them in the group, and all of them are now objects of a police hunt.