MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) is readying multiple murder charges against Ryan Dominguez, an alleged leader of the Dominguez carjacking group, and three others for the murder of government star witness Alfred Mendiola, alias “Bading,” and two others.
The PNP will also file the same charges against James Jimenez, Roy Blanco and Mark Mario Lakambakal as more conclusive pieces of evidence were uncovered by investigators linking the arrested suspects to the killing of Mendiola, Mark Herrera and Eriberto Jumaquio, whose bodies were found in Dasmariñas, Cavite last May 6, Director General Nicanor Bartolome said.
Bartolome said when Dominguez and Jimenez were arrested by police in Malolos City, Bulacan last Tuesday, two unlicensed .45 caliber pistols were found in their possession. Bartolome said police traced two of the four spent cartridge cases found where Mendiola and two others were dumped to the two .45 caliber pistols.
In addition to multiple murder charges, the suspects are also facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives (for possession of two .45 caliber pistols, two M16 rifles and two hand grenades); for use and possession of illegal drugs; and for car theft.
Lakambakal was identified by a carjacking victim as the one who forcibly took his Mitsubishi Montero sport utility vehicle.
Meanwhile, Bartolome said forensic investigators are analyzing the hair strands, bloodstains, soil and latent prints lifted from the Toyota Hi-Ace allegedly used by the suspects in transporting the three victims. Bartolome said the three victims were tortured before they were shot at close range.
The PNP chef said investigators are still looking deep into the case and have not yet declared it as closed.
A suspected car thief who was arrested last year has claimed he and his companions had been receiving “orders” from Dominguez.
Superintendent Ferdinand Villanueva, head of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Anti-Carnapping Unit, said Arnel Torres admitted that they were receiving instructions from Dominguez and Rolando Talban.
Torres was among those arrested by the QCPD and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) in a joint operation in Calumpit, Bulacan together with Antonio Garcia and Rominck Estrella in November last year.
Villanueva said police operatives also recovered from the suspects a stolen Ford Everest (PMQ-645), a Mitsubishi L-300 van (UKG-770) and dismantled parts of suspected stolen vehicles that could fill three small-sized cargo trucks.
At that time, Ryan’s older brothers, Roger and Raymond, were already behind bars as they faced trial for car theft with homicide in connection with the killing of car dealer Venson Evangelista in January 2011.
Talban, on the other hand, was tagged as the gunman who shot Evangelista and Maria Teresita Teano after stealing her car in Quezon City in June 2011.
Mendiola was a key state witness in the murder case against Roger and Raymond in the killing of Evangelista.
Mendiola had claimed he was the poseur buyer of the sport utility vehicle Evangelista was selling when he was abducted last year. He pointed to the Dominguez brothers as the alleged masterminds in the crime. – With Jaime Laude