2 ‘persons of interest’ tagged in Pangsinan slay
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Philippines — A suspected member of a gun-for-hire group and another man have been tagged as “persons of interest” in the killing of a retired Pangasinan police chief in an ambush on Jan. 9 in Calasiao town.
A certain Elmer Ferrer and Ashok Vasandani were included in the investigation of the murder of retired Brig. Gen. Marlou Chan, according to Lt. Col. Joseph Fajardo Jr., Calasiao police chief.
Chan was gunned down by four assailants on two motorcycles while he was in an orange Ford Ranger with his driver. He died while being taken to the Dagupan Doctors Villaflor Memorial Hospital while his dri¬ver, Juanito Lozada, was unhurt.
Although Ferrer and Vasandani were considered as persons of interests, they were “not necessarily suspects in the crime,” Fajardo said.
According to Fajardo, Vasandani was the last person whom Chan met at a restaurant before the ambush took place some 500 meters away. “Everyone whom the victim talked with is considered a person of interest,” Fajardo told reporters here on Monday.
Ferrer was at the crime scene and led Chan’s driver to the nearest hospital, Fajardo said.
But Fajardo refused to disclose the relationship between Vasandani and Ferrer except to say that the “two knew each other.”
Prior arrestPolice arrested Ferrer on Jan. 10 after a .45-caliber gun with magazine and a hand grenade were found in his house in Binmaley town. He is now detained at the town police station.
Ferrer was the driver and bodyguard of a certain Raja Mirchandani, who was killed in an ambush in 2014. Mirchandani is a nephew of Vasandani, police said.
Vasandani had survived a gun attack two years ago, Fajardo said.
Investigators said they would review security camera footage near the crime scene to establish the identities of the gunmen.
Chan, a member of Class 1985 of the Philippine Military Academy, served as director of Ilocos Norte police and later Pangasinan police from 2013 to 2015.—Yolanda Sotelo
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