�� DILG chief says suspected gunman in LTO employee’s slay nabbed
Abalos says killing possibly not work-related

DILG chief says suspected gunman in LTO employee’s slay nabbed

/ 01:00 PM May 27, 2024

DILG chief says suspected gunman in LTO employee’s slay nabbed

DILG chief Benjamin Abalos Jr. —PHOTO FROM DILG FACEBOOK PAGE

MANILA, Philippines — The suspect in the killing of Land Transportation Office (LTO) employee Mercedita Gutierrez has been arrested and will be subjected to inquest proceedings, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said on Monday.

Abalos, in a press conference after the launch of a Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) program for mental health, declined to reveal the suspect’s name and reason for the killing until after the inquest proceedings had been finished.

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READ: QCPD to form team to look into killing of LTO employee 

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Gutierrez was driving her Hyundai Starex van last Friday night when she was shot at the corner of K-H Street and Kamias Road. She was brought to the East Avenue Medical Center for treatment but was declared dead by the attending physician.

“So ‘yong nangyari do’n sa LTO official, si Mercedita Gutierrez, an LTO employee, ay meron nang suspect na na-aresto ang ating kapulisyahan. At mamaya anytime ngayon i-inquest na ito, ayaw ko lang muna sabihin ang pangalan nito at ang report, antayin na lang natin ang inquest, anyway, public record na ‘yon basta mangyari ‘yon,” Abalos told reporters.

(So what happened with that LTO official, Mercedita Gutierrez, an LTO employee? The police officers have already arrested a suspect. And anytime now, he will undergo inquest proceedings, but I do not want to name him and mention the report. We will just wait until the inquest is already a public record.)

“Meron, meron akong nabasa (na motive), itong hawak ko na ‘to, pero ayaw ko na munang ilabas kasi antayin na lang po natin ‘yong inquest,” she added.

(I’ve read about a possible motive, it’s in this paper I hold, but I do not want to preempt it, let’s just wait for the inquest.)

However, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief hinted that the incident is unrelated to Gutierrez’s work as chief of the LTO Central Office Registration Office.

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“Well siguro may kinalaman sa sasakyan, sa pagmamaneho. No, it’s not work-related. So tignan na lang natin,” Abalos said.

(Well, it has something to do with cars. No, it’s not work-related. So let’s wait for it.)

“So antayin na lang po natin ‘yong inquest mamaya and then once it becomes public record, I will ask Jean (Fajardo) to give you a copy but what is important is, as of now, meron nang suspect na under police custody at ipa-file na ang inquest, at maagap ang pulisya po natin,” he added.

(So let’s just wait for the inquest later, and then once it becomes public record, I will ask Jean (Fajardo) to give you a copy, but what is important is, as of now, we have a suspect under police custody, and this will be filed for the inquest, and our police officers are quick to address the issue.)

Last Saturday, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said it would create a team of investigators to look into Gutierrez’s killing.

QCPD Director Brigadier General Redrico Maranan said that Acting Deputy District Director for Operations Colonel Amante Daro will lead the team tasked to determine the motive behind the incident.

In a separate statement, LTO head Vigor Mendoza II condemned the killing and called for justice for Gutierrez.

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“This is a cowardly act, and we assure her family and the public of our untiring efforts to coordinate with the Philippine National Police and closely monitor the investigation of this incident to bring all the perpetrators of this crime behind bars,” Mendoza said.

TAGS: DILG, LTO

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