P1-M reward up in Mandaluyong exec’s slay
After the arrest of the alleged gunman, a P1-million reward still awaits any one who can help authorities find the mastermind behind the recent killing of a barangay chair in Mandaluyong City.
The reward has been offered by Mandaluyong Mayor Menchie Abalos.
The victim, Barangay Poblacion chair Godofredo Tolentino, used to be one of the close-in aides of then Mayor Benhur Abalos, Menchie’s husband. Tolentino also headed the city’s antismoke belching unit before entering local politics in 2009.
The Eastern Police District on Wednesday arrested a barangay watchman from Barangay Malamig for being the alleged gunman who shot Tolentino at his family-owned billiards hall on the night of Oct. 9.
But despite the arrest of Christopher Calumba, 36, the EPD director, Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula, said the police had yet to find the mastermind, who could be a moneyed person who had hired Calumba and is now providing him with lawyers to get him out of jail.
Sapitula arrived at this theory as he noted that Calumba “is only a village watchman and yet he has (been met by) four lawyers immediately after his arrest.”
“Who is financing these lawyers? It can’t be that they are doing this for public service as they claimed. They are not public lawyers,” Sapitula said.
One of the lawyers on Thursday questioned Calumba’s arrest, noting that it was carried out without a warrant nine days after the crime.
But Senior Supt. Joaquin Alva, Mandaluyong city police chief, said Calumba was positively identified by two witnesses who saw the killing.
Still, Calumba’s fellow barangay employees had vouched for Calumba’s innocence, including a fellow watchman who said the suspect was at work on the night Tolentino was killed.
On Friday, Calumba’s older sister Weenee also came to the suspect’s defense, saying the two witnesses cited by the police had a long-running feud with her brother.
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