EPD: Lawyer for Edsa ‘hulidap’ cop appealed to victims’ boss | Inquirer News

EPD: Lawyer for Edsa ‘hulidap’ cop appealed to victims’ boss

Car used in Sept. 1 crime found in QC lot

Invoking Muslim “brotherhood,” a lawyer representing one of the Quezon City policemen being linked to the Sept. 1 Edsa robbery-abduction tried over the weekend to convince the two victims and their employer to drop the charges against his client, the chief of the Eastern Police District (EPD) disclosed on Tuesday.

EPD director Chief Supt. Abelardo Villacorta said one attorney Garcia phoned the victims’ boss, engineer Cariong Malik, on Sunday requesting that the charges of brigandage and kidnapping with serious illegal detention against Senior Insp. Oliver Villanueva be dropped.

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Villanueva, who remains at large, is a younger brother of Nilo Villanueva, the mayor of Mabini town in Batangas province and a member of the ruling Liberal Party. He also has an older brother in the police force, PO3 Richard Villanueva, currently assigned to the Batangas provincial police intelligence.

The Inquirer tried to reach Villanueva’s siblings for comment but the Mabini mayor could not be contacted on his mobile phone while his office number was not working. A call to Richard’s mobile number was answered by a man who immediately hung up when told who was calling.

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Mayor’s home ‘raided’

A source from the Batangas police said members of the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) “raided” the mayor’s home in Mabini a day after the suspects were identified in media reports as policemen mostly belonging to Villanueva’s station.

Villanueva was the investigation and intelligence chief of the Quezon City Police District’s (QCPD) La Loma station and was tagged by two detained suspects—deputy station commander Chief Insp. Joseph de Vera and PO2 Jonathan Rodriguez of the District Police Safety Battalion—as the mastermind.

He declared a P6.5-million net worth last year, with P8.1 million in assets. His gross income with the QCPD was P605,133 in 2012.

Malik, a Marawi-based contractor, is the boss of Samanodin Abdul Gafur and Camal Mama who were allegedly seized by the suspects in broad daylight as they drove on Edsa’s southbound lane in Barangay Wack-Wack in Mandaluyong City on Sept. 1.

Gafur and Mama, who were held at gunpoint in their Toyota Fortuner, were allegedly robbed of P2 million in cash and later forced to give up their automated teller machine (ATM) cards that allowed the suspects to withdraw P119,000. They were later allegedly detained at the La Loma station.

According to Villacorta, Garcia claimed that Villanueva was a Muslim convert and “appealed to Malik to drop the charges, being an Islamic brother” of his client.

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But the engineer turned down the request, he said. “Malik told the lawyer that he was leaving the case to the court.”

Villacorta called on Villanueva to surface and answer the allegations himself.   “Asking victims to drop the charges and requesting a settlement imply guilt. If he really is innocent, he should come out and face the charges against him in court,” he told the Inquirer in an interview.

Gafur and Mama’s counsel, Jinky Dimaporo, confirmed that “a request for the engineer’s consideration” has been made for a possible settlement but that there was no monetary offer presented. Malik and her clients were still bent on pursuing the charges against the group of active and former lawmen tagged in the crime, she said.

Car traced to another suspect

Meanwhile, one of the vehicles allegedly used by the suspects in the “hulidap” operation had been recovered in Novaliches, theQCPD announced on Tuesday.

QCPD director Chief Supt. Richard Albano said a silver Honda Civic (ZJB-149) used in the crime and belonging to another suspect who remains at large, former Insp. Marco Polo Estrera, was recovered onFriday at a vacant lot near an auto shop on Chopin Street, Greenville Subdivision, in Novaliches. A tipster pointed the investigators to its location, he noted.

When interviewed by the police, the property’s caretaker, Arnold Reyes, claimed that the car was brought in for repairs on Sept. 2 by a man who introduced himself as Marco Polo, who had not returned since.

Reyes voluntarily turned over the vehicle to the QCPD, which then traced its registration to Golden Arches Corp., a Makati City-based company. A company representative, Evelyn Ng, later said the car was sold to Estrera last year but that its registration had yet to be updated.

Ng presented a deed of sale dated Sept. 10, 2013, showing it was turned over to Estrera, who gave his address at Cayetano Street, Arty Subdivision, in Karuhatan, Valenzuela City.

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TAGS: Abelardo Villacorta, brigandage, Camal Mama, Cariong Malik, Eastern Police District, Edsa Hulidap, EPD, Hulidap, illegal detention, Kidnapping, Oliver Villanueva, Samanodin Abdul Gafur
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