Lomibao orders police to ensure airtight case vs Batul killers
- Bebot Sison Jr., Cecille Suerte Felipe () - May 27, 2006 - 12:00am
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Arturo Lomibao ordered police investigators yesterday to ensure an airtight case against PO1 Aaron Golifardo, the accused killer of broadcaster and former Puerto Princesa City Vice Mayor Fernando Batul last Monday.

Lomibao issued the order from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he is attending the 26th ASEAN Chiefs of Police Conference.

Police are hunting down another suspect who allegedly drove the getaway motorcycle for Golifardo after he allegedly shot Batul along Valencia Street in Barangay Masipag, Puerto Princesa City.

Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent Ernesto Belen, PNP Crime Laboratory director, said the paraffin test on Golifardo turned out negative.

"The paraffin (test) was negative but Golifardo can’t use the result as a defense of his innocence," he told The STAR.

"Considering the time of the paraffin test from the time the crime was committed, it has been 72 hours," Belen said.

A paraffin test is done to determine if a person has recently fired a gun.

Belen said Golifardo had apparently traveled to several places since the killing of Batul, including a flight from Palawan to Metro Manila.

"If a person is prepared, he knows how to remove traces of nitrates by washing his hands, or he was wearing long sleeves when he fired a gun," he said.

"Sweating can also be a factor because the nitrates in a person’s pores could disappear after a certain period."

Golifardo was arrested in Camp Crame in Quezon City after he reported to the Directorate for Investigative and Detective Management (DIDM) to attend the hearing of an administrative case filed against him by his wife.

Despite Golifardo’s negative paraffin test, Belen said investigators already have an airtight case with the testimonies of four witnesses who have identified Golifardo as one of the gunmen who shot Batul.

Crime Laboratory officers would also conduct ballistic tests on Golifardo’s gun and cross-match its bullets with the empty shells found at the crime scene and slugs in Batul’s body, he added.

Deputy Director General Isidro Lapeña, PNP Directorial Staff chief, and National Bureau of Investigation Regional Director Rey Esmeralda presented Golifardo before the Palawan Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.

Senior Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao Jr., PNP spokesman, said Golifardo was arrested Wednesday afternoon at Camp Crame by policemen led by Chief Superintendent Delfin Genio and Superintendent Jose Macanas.

On May 8, 2006, Golifardo figured in a gun-poking incident at a videoke bar in Puerto Princesa City that led to the filing of a complaint against him by a waitress before the Internal Affairs Service.

Pagdilao said Golifardo was listed on the passenger manifest of Air Philippines flight 2P-214 that left Puerto Princesa City at 11:22 a.m. on May 22, or barely five hours after the shooting of Batul at 6:30 a.m. the same day.

Golifardo’s flight arrived in Manila at 12:32 p.m.

Esmeralda said NBI agents working with Task Force Batul have secured the testimonies of at least three witnesses who identified Golifardo through pictures as one of the two suspects who shot and killed Batul.

Golifardo, 37, is on full-duty status and presently assigned with the 412nd provincial mobile group in Puerto Princesa.

PNP records show Golifardo joined the police force on Sept. 19, 1998 and has been assigned to Palawan since.

AARON GOLIFARDO AIR PHILIPPINES BARANGAY MASIPAG BATUL BELEN CAMP CRAME CHIEF DIRECTOR GENERAL ARTURO LOMIBAO CRIME LABORATORY GOLIFARDO PUERTO PRINCESA CITY
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