MANILA, Philippines?On Nov. 18 last year, Renato Victor Ebarle Jr., the 27-year-old son of an undersecretary for the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff, was shot dead inside his sports utility vehicle (SUV) on Santolan Road, Quezon City.
Witnesses said Ebarle?s vehicle had nearly collided with another SUV driven by a foreign-looking man. The man reportedly blocked Ebarle?s path, alighted from the vehicle and shot Ebarle at close range several times before escaping.
The suspect?s SUV was later traced to Stephen Pollard, a British economist at the Asian Development Bank.
Police later identified the alleged killer as American Jason Ivler, 27, son of Pollard?s wife Marlene Aguilar from a previous marriage.
Ivler also figured in a 2004 vehicular accident on the C-5 Ortigas flyover that killed Nestor Ponce, then presidential adviser for resettlement, and injured Ponce?s wife and another passenger.
For the 2004 incident, Ivler was charged in a Pasig City court with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and slight physical injuries.
He pleaded guilty to the lighter crime and was sentenced to public censure. He asked the court to quash the more serious charges, claiming double jeopardy, but his motion was denied. Ivler?s petition for review is pending at the Supreme Court.
Another motorist, Manolito Cuya, told police that the night before Ebarle was killed, Ivler pointed a gun at him during a traffic altercation in New Manila, Quezon City.
Police raided three houses in Quezon City in November but failed to find Ivler. A manhunt was launched for the ?armed and dangerous? American, with P1 million offered to anyone who could provide information leading to his arrest.
Ivler?s name was also included in the International Police Organization?s ?red notice? list, which meant he could be arrested abroad and deported to the Philippines.
On Nov. 23, murder charges were filed against Ivler at the Quezon City prosecutor?s office.
On Nov. 27, Ivler?s mother went to the National Bureau of Investigation and claimed that the allegations against her son came about after she wrote a book ?that denounces America and its killing machine.?
Aguilar also said she had no information on the whereabouts of her son, whom she described as ?a highly trained soldier? from the US Special Operations command who had been sent to ?risky? missions in Iraq.
On Dec. 23, a Quezon City judge issued an arrest warrant, without bail, for Ivler.
In the same month, Aguilar told police she had received an e-mail from Ivler saying he was in Hawaii.
She later told the Inquirer that her son would not surrender to authorities without a fight. Cyril L. Bonabente, Inquirer Research
Source: Inquirer Archives