P200,000 reward up for arrest of DPWH lawyer’s shooters
MANILA, Philippines — Various stakeholders have offered a P200,000 reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of the attackers of a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) – National Capital Region (NCR) lawyer and her driver in Pasay City in early June.
According to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Southern Police District (SPD), DPWH-NCR lawyer Maria Rochelle Melliza remains in critical condition at the hospital.
Her driver, Deo Decena, has recovered from physical injuries.
Two unidentified gunmen blocked their path along Fortuna Street, Barangay 21, and opened fire last June 5.
“We already have a suspect and picture out of these video analyses we’ve taken, and we want your support to really, on a massive scale na ipakita sa ating mga kababayan the picture of this personality,” Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. said in the press conference.
(We want your support to really, on a massive scale, show our fellow citizens the picture of this personality.)
SPD director Brigadier General Kirby John Kraft bared one of the suspects’ face lifted from a CCTV footage before the attack.
“Ito po yung suspect before the shooting. This is the reward for any information that would lead to the identification of the suspect. Nasa P200,000 po. May mga tumulong sa ating stakeholders na mag-come up sa reward na ito,” Kraft said.
(This is the suspect before the shooting incident. This is the reward for any information that would lead to the identification of the suspect. It’s about P200,000. Some stakeholders helped us come out with this reward.)
“June 5 , (so) dumating yung suspect 7:32 a.m. Inabangan nila si attorney until 7:57 a.m. Almost 25 minutes silang naghihintay doon bago isinagawa yung ambush,” he reported.
(The suspect arrived at 7:32 a.m. They waited for the attorney from 7:57 a.m. until 7:57 a.m. They waited for almost 25 minutes before they staged the ambush.)
Kraft pointed out the suspect in the video is the back rider.
Investigators have yet to enhance the face of the other suspect from the CCTV footage.
“So yung back rider ito po, siya yung nasa picture. Hinihingi po namin ang tulong ng media para ma-disseminate po ito. Ang suspect po ay doon po tumakbo sa area ng Cavite so may possibility na galing ito ng Cavite area,” he said.
(So this back rider is the one in the picture. We are asking for the help of the media to disseminate this. The suspect ran towards the Cavite area, so there is a possibility that he is from the Cavite area.)
Police said a witness, Dave Calixto, boarded the victims’ vehicle and rushed them to the hospital for medical treatment.
Melliza sustained gunshot wounds in her forehead and forearm, while her driver was shot in the left shoulder and left side of his chest.
According to Kraft, the suspects’ motive may be work-related.
He said Melliza’s job as a lawyer included handling issues like demolition projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
“Hindi lang siya legal officer ng DPWH-NCR. Siya rin yung chief ng right of ways, acquisition and legal division nito. So kung makikita niyo may mga kalsada na ginagawa, merong areas na may nade-demolish na mga bahay,” he explained.
(She is not just a legal officer of the DPWH-NCR. She is also the rights of way, acquisition and legal division chief. So if you see that roads are being built, there are also areas where houses are being demolished.)
Kraft said anyone with information that can help them identify the suspect should call SPD at 0998598720 or Pasay Police Station at 09985987922.