Quezon City Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco was shot to death May 2018. He was driving his car along Holy Spirit Drive in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City when at least four men rained bullets on his car at around 4:55 p.m.
Photo contributed by Rogelio Velasco's family
DOJ junks murder rap vs cops linked to QC fiscal's slay
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - May 27, 2019 - 4:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice junked the National Bureau of Investigation’s murder complaint against several police officers over the death of Quezon City Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong junked the murder complaint against Police Senior Master Sergeant Rodante Sicat Lalimarmo, Police Staff Sergeant Arthur Yasonia Lucy, Patrolman Jose Lunar Mercado, and seven unnamed men and an unnamed woman due to insufficiency of evidence.

“After a careful review and evaluation of the evidence submitted by the parties, the undersigned finds complainants’ evidence insufficient to charge all respondents for murder,” the resolution, dated May 8 but released only Monday, read.

The NBI earlier said that Velasco may have been killed over a personal grudge. In its complaint, the bureau said that its investigation showed that Mercado had a shouting match with Velasco over the policeman’s brother, who was charged with illegal possession of firearms and illegal drugs.

The NBI also submitted a copy of closed-circuit television footage that showed the suspects monitoring the movements of the prosecutor all the way from QC city hall to Barangay Holy Spirit, where Velasco was ambushed while he in a Toyota Innova with his daughter.

The STAR reported that the NBI investigation showed that Velasco supposedly told Mercado: “Goddamit, alam mo na pulis ka! Bakit pinababayaan mo ang kapatid mo na mag-drugs (You know that you are a police officer. Why did you let your brother use drugs)?”

The meeting happened a day before Velasco was killed.

'Mere speculations'

But the DOJ, in its resolution, said the shouting match between the slain fiscal and Mercado could not be confirmed. It also said that the CCTV footage of  the face of a man, supposedly Mercado, is unclear.

The DOJ stressed: “Complainants should not rely on speculations and conjectures to support their case.”

“Mere speculations and probabilities cannot substitute for proof required to establish the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt,” the resolution further read.

Velasco was the fifth prosecutor killed since the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Velasco was shot to death in May 2018. He was driving his car along Holy Spirit Drive in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City when at least four men rained bullets on his car at around 4:55 p.m.

He was rushed to East Avenue Medical Center but was declared dead at around 6:07 p.m.

Velasco suffered at least 12 gunshot wounds, according to the police.

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