QCPD presents 4 ‘usual’ suspects in cop’s slay
MANILA, Philippines–After a two-day investigation, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Thursday declared it had solved the cold-blooded killing of one of its ranking officials with the arrest of four suspects whose names also cropped up in past murder cases.
The QCPD also maintained that the Sept. 1 ambush of Chief Insp. Roderick Medrano, who was shot dead while in a car with his wife and two young children, was “related to his work” and not because of any personal grudge. Medrano was the operations chief of the QCPD Station 4 in Novaliches.
Presented in a press conference Thursday were the arrested suspects: Clemente Bersoza, 49; Larry Consolacion, 42; Joean Marco, 41; and Rodener Necesito, 39, who were all captured in the wee hours of Wednesday at the Commonwealth Market area.
QCPD director Chief Supt. Richard Albano noted that the suspects were positively identified by Medrano’s family members, who emerged unhurt from the attack.
Albano said the arrested suspects were “implicated” in previous killings in Quezon City, particularly in the market area and communities under the jurisdiction of the QCPD Station 6 in Barangay (village) Batasan Hills.
The killings include that of Barangay Commonwealth Kagawad Roberto Maraño on June 15, 2012, in Payatas; Insp. Rodelio Dionco on June 8 in Batasan Hills; and SPO1 Miguel Gayagoy Jr. on Jan. 12, Albano said.
The police also tagged Bersoza in the twin killings of tabloid columnists Bonifacio Loreto Jr. and Richard Kho in Barangay Commonwealth on July 30, 2013, said QCPD-Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) head Chief Insp. Rodelio Marcelo.
Police said the suspects are all residents of Barangay Commonwealth, where Bersoza and Consolacion works as market stall inspectors and Necesito, a stall rent collector.
Senior Supt. Procopio Lipana, head of the special investigation team formed for the case, declined to elaborate on the suspects’ motive, saying it might jeopardize follow-up operations targeting eight more accomplices. “But it’s definitely related to [Medrano’s] work. No one had a personal grudge against him, according to his wife and friends,” said Lipana, QCPD deputy director for operations and head of Task Group Medrano.
“We have solved the killing of Medrano,” said National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Carmelo Valmoria at the briefing.
Marcelo said four suspects were identified also through other eyewitness accounts, security camera footage, and a trace made on the getaway vehicles used—a motorcycle and an Asian utility vehicle (AUV).
Around 7 a.m. on Monday, Medrano was driving his two sons to school together with his wife, when two men opened fire on their car at the intersection of San Diego and Zabarte streets in Barangay Kaligayahan.
The policeman was hit several times as he shielded his sons in the passenger seat. Despite being wounded, he still managed to maneuver away from the intersection before crashing the car into a nearby gate. One of the gunmen continued shooting at the driver’s side of vehicle, before he and his partner drove off on a black motorcycle driven by a third accomplice.
The gunman who fired the last shots was identified as Bersoza, according to QCPD-CIDU homicide section chief Insp. Elmer Monsalve.
Albano said Task Group Medrano later received a tip that the getaway motorcycle, which had a plate indicating it was still “for registration,” was spotted on Central Avenue in Quezon City shortly after midnight on Wednesday.
The bike was then being driven by owner Christian Geronimo, who denied having a hand in the ambush but said he had lent the motorcycle to Bersoza on Monday, Marcelo added. Geronimo’s statements paved the way for the suspects’ arrest on the same day.
Also on Wednesday, the police learned that an AUV spotted at the crime scene and believed to have been used by other suspects was sighted at the parking lot of Commonwealth Market.
When a police team went to the area, it spotted Bersoza at the market entrance with a pistol tucked in his waistband. Bersoza then ran away but was eventually cornered. The pursuing officers were able to subdue him before he could draw his .45-cal. pistol, Marcelo said.
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