TMG cop probed for starlet slay
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - March 16, 2008 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Police are investigating a cop assigned to the Traffic Management Group in Camp Crame, Quezon City in the murder last Thursday of Viva Hot Babes and FHM model Scarlet May Garcia and three of her companions in Olongapo City, Zambales.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Senior Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome said a task force created to probe the murder identified the suspect as Senior Police Officer 1 Leopoldo Vitug.

The Task Force Scarlet, headed by Olongapo City police director Supt. Abelardo Villacorta, found Vitug’s police badge and other personal belongings inside the car of the victims.

“Everybody’s a suspect. We are investigating all angles to solve the gruesome killing,” said Bartolome.

Probers , he said, are now focusing their investigation on all possible motives of the crime, including love-triangle, business rivalry, robbery, and vendetta.

Viva Hot Babes member Garcia; George Vitug Castro, 28; Rachel Estacio, 20; and Van Mark Bandejas, 22 were found dead inside a partially burned three-story townhouse at No. 52-B Acacia St., Gordon Heights, Olongapo City at about 3:35 a.m. last Thurdsay. All had gunshot wounds.

Investigation showed that the suspects tried to hide their crime by setting the house on fire.

Bartolome said aside from Vitug’s police badge, an item card and a police jacket were also recovered inside a Toyota Vios with license plates SAJ 203 owned by one of the victims.

Police probers also found 10 spent shells of caliber .45 pistol, several shells of caliber .9mm pistol, lighter, needles, and butane at the crime scene.

He said although there is no strong evidence yet that could link Vitug to the killing, the task force will thoroughly question the suspect. – Jaime Laude

ABELARDO VILLACORTA B ACACIA ST. BARTOLOME CAMP CRAME GEORGE VITUG CASTRO OLONGAPO CITY POLICE VITUG
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