AWOL cops held over slay of ex-Insurance commissioner
CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna, Philippines — Two policemen on an AWOL (absent without official leave) status and another claiming to be a member of a police support unit were held suspects in the robbery and murder of a former insurance commissioner in Bacoor City, Cavite.
In a text message Wednesday, Senior Superintendent Joselito Esquivel, Cavite police director, identified the suspects as Alfredo Bautista, Arlan Aguilar and Telesforo Aguilar.
Esquivel said the three were arrested onboard a gray van as it was about to leave Batangas City port for Mindoro province on late Tuesday.
The gray van was identified by a witness as the suspects’ getaway vehicle when they attacked lawyer and former Insurance Commissioner Eduardo Malinis in his home in Bacoor City on May 23.
The 76-year-old retired government executive was found hogtied and gagged with masking tape that might have caused his death by asphyxiation, an earlier police report said. The police also said Malinis’ computer laptop went missing after the attack.
Superintendent Rommel Estolano, Bacoor City police chief, in a phone interview, said both Bautista and Arlan Aguilar were Police Officers 2 assigned in Camp Crame but the two had been on AWOL status “for quite some time now.”
Telesforo Aguilar, meanwhile, claimed he was a member of the Criminal Investigative Support, a civilian support group of the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, but this was not true, Estolano said.
Estolano said they received information tracing the suspects in Batangas City. “We believe they were on their way to Mindoro to dispose of the vehicle, the evidence linking them (to the Malinis case),” he said.
The van was registered under the name of Arlan Aguilar’s wife, but the suspects denied involvement in the robbery-slay.
Estolano said the suspects on Wednesday were charged with possession of unregistered firearms and usurpation of authority, as the police prepared charges in relation to the Malinis killing.
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