Police eye link between QC thrill killers, unsolved murder cases
A newspaper clipping apparently kept as a “trophy” by one of the two motorcycle-riding suspects in Sunday’s shooting spree in Fairview, Quezon City, has prompted police investigators to review unsolved cases of killings in the area.
With the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) still on the lookout for the other suspect identified as Mohammad Mautin Sandigan, four counts of murder were filed on Wednesday in the city prosecutor’s office against him and Alsaid Mindalano who was arrested on Tuesday afternoon.
A witness earlier identified Mindalano as the driver of the motorcycle and Sandigan as the back rider who shot five people dead during an hour-long killing spree on Sunday morning on a 300-meter-long stretch along Commonwealth and Regalado Avenues in Barangay North Fairview.
Only four counts of murder were filed against them as the police did not include in the complaint the killing of the fifth victim, a garbage scavenger, who has yet to be identified.
Apart from the murder raps, Mindalano was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and a hand grenade and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. Also charged were three persons who were arrested with Mindalano on Tuesday afternoon. A fourth suspect, a 16-year-old boy, was turned over to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
A source from the QCPD’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU), who requested anonymity for lack of authority to speak on the matter, said that they were looking into unsolved killings in the Fairview area dating back to 2011.
“We find it odd that he [Mindalano] was keeping a newspaper clipping on a teenager who was beheaded in North Fairview. It seems like he considered it [the clipping] a trophy,” the source told the Inquirer, pointing out that the article was found neatly folded in the suspect’s wallet.
The information in the newspaper clipping from a tabloid was consistent with a murder that occurred in June 2011, he added.
A certain “Said” was mentioned in the clipping as the person believed to be behind the death of the teenage boy identified only as “Tata.” According to the article, the boy was tortured before he was beheaded. His head was never found.
The source told the Inquirer that they were also looking into the possible involvement of the duo in the killing last October of jeepney driver Alexander Galvez outside the Fairview Central Market on Commonwealth Avenue in Barangay Fairview.
Galvez was shot repeatedly in the head by one of two motorcycle-riding men.
The QCPD investigator said that witnesses had reported that the numbers on the license plate of the motorcycle used by the gunmen were 1483. When Mindalano was arrested on Tuesday afternoon, one of the motorcycles seized from him and the other suspects bore the license plate OO 1483.
Apart from the two killings, the QCPD-CIDU source said that Sandigan might have been involved in the death of a car sales executive, Mark Matthew Alvarez, in November.
The victim was killed at a gasoline station at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Atherton Street. The suspects shot Alvarez several times in the head before fleeing with his motorcycle and valuables.
“There may be other crimes, including robberies, that these two are involved in. Based on our assessment, these suspects may be the kind that kill or rob people [on a whim] while high on drugs. They are also the kind who will kill or rob others to get their hands on illegal drugs,” he said.
A 9-mm pistol recovered from Mindalano has been submitted to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for ballistics examination and comparison with bullets recovered from previous crime scenes.
Meanwhile, a team of special investigators from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has been to the QCPD to check on the condition of Mindalano and the other suspects.
CHR special investigator III Nick Agustin told the Inquirer that the team was there “to make sure these (suspects) were not fall guys.”
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