Cop tagged in Richard King’s slay detained at city police
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The former chief of the police’s intelligence group in Southern Mindanao, who was accused of masterminding the 2014 murder of Cebu businessman Richard King here, has been placed under the custody of the city police office after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) declined to take him in due to alleged lack of capability.
But Senior Insp. Milgrace Driz, city police spokesperson, said Supt. Leonardo Felonia – who was ordered arrested in May by the court – would only be temporarily held at the city police office lock up cell until the issuance of a court ruling on where he should be detained.
In declining to take Felonia in custody, NBI Davao chief Dante Gierran said on Friday that he was considered a high-risk detainee and the NBI had no secure facility for him.
Felonia’s detention at the NBI here was ordered by Judge Emmanuel Carpio of the Regional Trial Court Branch 16 after he was arrested by city police operatives shortly after arriving from Manila on Friday.
Carpio has ruled that the murder case against Felonia should be heard in the city despite the latter’s earlier petition to hold it elsewhere, citing threats to his life.
Carpio also rejected a motion by Felonia’s lawer, Cesar Europa, that he should remain under the custody of the Philippine National Police Intelligence Group in Camp Crame.
King, who owned a hotel business in Cebu and a wellness company, was shot dead inside his office in Barrio Obrero here on June 12, 2014.
Authorities later arrested Paul Dave Molina Labang and siblings Rommel and Rodel dela Cerna. Labang confessed he was the one who shot King dead while the Dela Cerna brothers said they served as lookouts. The three men also pointed to Felonia as mastermind.
Felonia had repeatedly denied the accusations.
On Friday, Felonia said he was unjustly being prosecuted and called on Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to help unmask the real culprit behind King’s death.
Felonia, 52, was a multi-awarded police officer – who received the Medalya ng Kasanayan, Medalya ng Papuri, Medalya ng Paglilingkod and the PNP Badge of Honor – who rose from the ranks since becoming a member of the defunct Philippine Constabulary in 1986. SFM
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