News blackout on Cinco murder probe imposed?
() - December 2, 2001 - 12:00am
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) virtually imposed a news blackout yesterday on its ongoing investigation into the Nov. 20 murder of Commission on Elections (Comelec) information chief Velma Cinco.

A source from the Department of Justice said NBI director Reynaldo Wycoco gave specific instructions to investigating units not to leak anything to media. The source hinted that "something big" would be announced by Wycoco soon.

Meanwhile, investigators have refused to confirm a report that Conrado Robles, 47, an arrested former casual employee of the Comelec, was also charged for the murder of Cinco and for the frustrated murder of her son Carlo.

Robles, was arrested by agents of the NBI at his house in San Pascual, Batangas, last Thursday for his alleged involvement in Cinco’s murder.

The NBI charged him last Thursday night before the Department of Justice with illegal possession of a firearm after an unlicensed .32 caliber pistol was seized from him.

"All we can say is that he was identified by our witnesses as among the assailants of Cinco," said an investigator when asked if Robles was indeed one of Cinco’s two reported triggermen.

Even members of the Western Police District who are helping the NBI crack the case, are also apparently being kept in the dark by the NBI regarding the development of the case.

"We have agreed with the NBI to only file the illegal possession of firearm charge against him. We have still to verify whether other charges have been filed against Robles," said a police investigator.

Investigators meanwhile are checking the links of Robles to the Department of National Defense after Robles claimed before the DOJ that the gun seized from him was allegedly covered by a mission order issued by the DND.

Initial investigation by the NBI showed that Robles was a casual employee of the Comelec’s Education and Information Department whose appointment was not renewed when Cinco took over as chief.

Cinco, 63, officer-in-charge of the Comelec’s EID was being driven by her son Carlo, 37 from their house in Sta. Ana to her office at about 8 a.m. aboard her red Kia car with plate number TDR-779 when their way was blocked by the two gunmen aboard a motorcycle at the corner of Eden and Pedro Gil streets. Mike Frialde

CINCO COMELEC CONRADO ROBLES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE EDEN AND PEDRO GIL EDUCATION AND INFORMATION DEPARTMENT MIKE FRIALDE NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NBI REYNALDO WYCOCO
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