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Suspects in slays of Quezon mayor’s son, companion yield

MOURNING Friends and neighbors offer their sympathy to the family of Sariaya, Quezon Mayor Marcelo Gayeta, whose son, Christian, was slain by policemen. —DELFIN T. MALLARI JR.

LUCENA CITY – The suspects in the killing of Sariaya, Quezon mayor Marcelo Gayeta’s son and his companion surrendered Friday morning, police said.

Dominador Villanueva, the agent in charge of the NBI Lucena district office, said Supt. Mark Joseph Laygo, former Tayabas City police chief, Police Officer 3 Robert Legazpi and Police Officer 2 Leonald Sumalpong, have turned themselves to Chief Supt. Edward Carranza, Calabarzon police director.

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“The police will turn them over to me for the inquest,” Villanueva told the Inquirer over the phone Friday.

Senior Supt. Robert Arguelles, Quezon police director, confirmed the police custody of the suspects in a text message to the Inquirer.

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The three policemen were among the principal suspects in the killing of Christian Gayeta and Christopher Manalo in an alleged shootout with policemen in Tayabas City on March 14 based on a police report.

But according to the NBI investigation, which was requested by the Gayeta family, the victims did not die in an encounter but were deliberately killed by the policemen.

Villanueva said they already have the testimonies of four policemen involved in the killing.

On Monday, Laygo and three other Tayabas policemen were relieved from their posts to allow an impartial investigation into the case. But Laygo failed to report to the provincial headquarters after his relief.

“I can now heave a sigh of relief. At least, the wheels of justice for the death of my son and his companion are now turning,” Mayor Gayeta, said in a phone interview.

He said he wanted to see the suspects face to face.

“I just want to ask them. Why did you kill my son? He was a good boy and a good father to his only son,” Gayeta said. Christian was interred on Thursday.

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Before the burial, Gayeta accused the police of allegedly hiding the killers of his son.

He demanded the resignation of Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde and Carranza for their failure to bring justice to the victims./lzb

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TAGS: Killings, Local news, Marcelo Gayeta, Quezon Province, Sariaya
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