What shooting? Guards deny Baligod’s tale
The security guards accused by lawyer Levito Baligod of shooting at him and his colleagues last week at a gate of a disputed property in Quezon City have denied the allegations, a police official who had conducted an initial investigation said Monday.
The head of the Quezon City Police District’s (QCPD) Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, Chief Insp. Rodelio Marcelo, said his men met with the guards hours after the alleged shooting incident on Holy Wednesday in Barangay Damayan Lagi.
During the lineup held outside the compound in the presence of Baligod, “no one was positively identified” as having discharged his gun, Marcelo said. The guards, who are members of the Gold Cross security agency, also denied firing any shot in their encounter with the lawyer around 7:20 a.m. on April 1, he added.
And contrary to what Baligod earlier said, the QCPD-Galas station members who first responded to incident did not report being threatened or cursed by the security guards when they arrived, Marcelo added.
But Baligod on Monday pointed out that those whom he saw fire their guns had already left when the investigators arrived. He said he would still press charges against Gold Cross personnel for attempted homicide.
He also noted that paraffin tests were not conducted on the guards.
Marcelo said he had asked Titan Dragon Properties Corp., which has posted the guards at the 7-hectare property on 14th Street, to produce a list of all Gold Cross guards on duty that morning.
Baligod was the former legal counsel of the whistle-blowers in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, which was first reported by the Inquirer in 2013. The exposé later led to the filing of plunder charges against three senators and the scam’s alleged mastermind, Janet Lim Napoles.
His allegations against the guards started when the lawyer—who Marcelo said was accompanied by 28 people tasked to “clean up” the property—went to the fenced-in compound in behalf of his client Marlina Veloso.
Baligod maintained that Veloso was the legal owner of the land, saying Titan, under a previous owner, had already sold it to his client in 1998 but that the deal hit a snag due to the nonpayment of capital gains tax.
The lawyer alleged that when he and his group peered through the gate, the security guards on the other side shouted invectives and threatened to kill them if they try to enter, and then fired their guns as Baligod and company were backing off.
Veloso is the mother of Baligod’s wife Marilou, whom he married last year, but the lawyer declined to speak at length about this relationship with his client when contacted on Monday.
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