Hot Babe slay suspect’s gun to undergo ballistic tests
() - March 18, 2008 - 12:00am

The gun of a Traffic Management Group (TMG) policeman allegedly involved in the killing of an FHM model and her three companions in Olongapo City Thursday will undergo ballistic tests after it was found to have been fired recently.

TMG director Chief Superintendent Perfecto Palad said the hands of Senior Police Officer 1 Leopoldo Vitug Jr., assigned with the TMG’s Motorcycle Unit, tested negative for gunpowder.

Vitug’s .45 caliber handgun, however, tested positive for gunpowder residue, indicating that the firearm was recently fired. Vitug said he used his gun during a firearm proficiency training and failed to clean it since then.

“So we will have to compare the bullets fired from Vitug’s gun to the bullets that killed the victims. The result will come out soon,” Palad said.

In the absence of formal charges against him, Palad said Vitug continues to report in his unit in Quezon City. The TMG chief told Vitug to make himself available for any investigation in connection with the death of Viva Hot Babe Scarlet Garcia, who once posed for the men’s magazine FHM. Palad ordered Vitug to undergo paraffin and ballistic tests to determine if he was involved in last Thursday’s killing of Garcia; her boyfriend, George Vitug Castro; and their friends, Rachel Estacio and her boyfriend Mark Bandejas.

The four were found dead in a condominium at Gordon Heights in Olongapo City last March 13. “We will not tolerate our men to be involved in criminal acts but they also deserve to be cleared if they are found innocent,” he said.

Police placed Vitug under investigation after they found his belongings inside the victims’ car. Vitug, according to reports, said he and Castro are first cousins, as his father is a brother of Castro’s mother.

Vitug claimed that without his knowledge, Castro took his Philippine National Police item card that he was no longer using and other police paraphernalia when he slept at their house four days before the massacre to attend the wake of Vitug’s father. – Cecille Suerte Felipe

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