NBI recommends murder raps vs cops in Calbayog mayor’s killing
MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has recommended the filing of murder charges against police officers involved in the March 8 killing of Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino.
According to NBI, nine police officers and several John Does should be charged with murder for the death of Aquino and his companions, which included the late politician’s driver, security aide and a civilian who was caught in the crossfire.
The police officers who should be charged are:
P/Lt. Col. Harry Sucayre
P/Maj. Shyrile Tan
P/Capt. Dino Goles
P/Lt. Julio Armeza Jr.
P/SSgt. Neil Cebu
P/Ssgt. Edsel Omega
Police officer Nino Salem
Police officer Julius Armesa
Police officer Randy Merelos
“Respectfully forwarded for preliminary investigation are the results and records of the investigation conducted by agents/ investigators of the National Bureau of Investigation – Samar District Office,” NBI said in the letter forwarded to Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento.
All nine and the other suspects would also be facing frustrated murder charges in respect to the lone survivor of the incident, Aquino’s assistant.
Last March 8, the mayor was ambushed while on his way to his son’s birthday party at their private resort. Aquino’s vehicle was trailed by a van that carried officers from the local Philippine National Police (PNP) Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) and the Police Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU).
While initially said to be an ambush, police officers clarified that the incident was a shootout as Aquino and his group supposedly fought it out against operatives aboard the unmarked vehicles.
The incident prompted a Senate investigation into the case, during which a police officer revealed that they colluded with the slain mayor’s political rivals to kill Aquino’s close allies.
The witness also shut down claims linking Aquino to the drug trade, saying that it was merely concocted by some police officers and his rivals.
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