Former councilor denies hand in slay of Calbayog mayor
TACLOBAN CITY—A political rival of slain Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino wants to testify before the Senate to clear his name after he was implicated by a junior police officer.
Former councilor Raymundo Uy maintained that he had nothing to do with the March killing of Aquino, and had not met star witness Police Master Sergeant Jose Jay Senario.
“I was shocked when he (Senario) mentioned my name during the (Senate) hearing. For one, I don’t know him or have not met, contrary to his claim, that we met at my residence here in Calbayog,” Uy told the Inquirer in a phone interview Friday.
During a recent hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, Senario claimed to have colluded with a disgruntled politician and some police officers in concocting stories on Aquino’s involvement in illegal drugs.
The committee is investigating the alleged shootout on March 9 in Calbayog between Aquino’s aides and the policemen belonging to the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group and the Samar Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU).
Aquino and five others—his bodyguard, Police Staff Sgt. Rodelio Sario, and his driver, along with two PDEU operatives identified as Police Capt. Joselito Tabada, and Police Staff Sgt. Romeo Laoyon, and a civilian hit by a stray bullet––were killed in the alleged gunfight.
While the witness did not directly link Uy to Aquino’s killing, Senario claimed that Uy gave him P50,000 as a “reward” for his work on Bembol Gargar, the leader of Aquino’s men, even if he wrongly killed Gargar’s companion.
“That is not true at all. He never went to my house where he claimed we met (and received the money),” Uy told the Inquirer.
He said he was consulting his lawyer on possibly filing a case against Senario for “fabricating” stories against him.
He said he was also willing to appear before the Senate hearing and be given a chance to air his side.
In an apparent move to discredit the witness, Uy described Senario as a police officer, who had a “bad reputation” in Calbayog
“He has a bad reputation here. He has a case of perjury in the courts here in Calbayog and a murder charge in a Leyte town where he was assigned,” Uy said.
Uy dismissed the claim of Senario that he was involved in a plan to implicate the city mayor in the illegal drugs trade.
“Granting that what he said were true, why would I deal with a policeman like him? I would deal with high-ranking officers. No, it is not true,” Uy said.
Uy said efforts to link him to his rival’s killing only put his security at risk.
“There is a threat to my security although I am just here in Calbayog,” he said.
Uy, a member of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) ran against Aquino of the Liberal Party (LP), in the 2019 polls.
Uy is allied with the Tans, a political clan in Samar that controls the province, but is at odds with Aquino and Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, the few local officials loyal to the LP.
He said he was open to run for a position in the 2021 elections.
“I am just waiting for instructions from my party,” he added.
Uy said he welcomed the statement of Aquino’s son for authorities to probe the Calbayog killings.
“I also welcome that. This will pave the way, once and for all, for the people of Calbayog to know who are responsible for these killings, and not just point at me as behind these killings,” he said.
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