Charges filed vs suspects in Cagayan mayor’s slay

Raymund Catindig, Charlie Lagasca (The Philippine Star) - May 5, 2014 - 12:00am

TUGUEGARAO CITY , Philippines  â€“ Police have formally filed charges against those behind the recent killing of Gonzaga, Cagayan Mayor Carlito Pentecostes, who will be laid to rest on May 8.  

Chief Superintendent Miguel Laurel, Cagayan Valley police director, confirmed yesterday that murder and robbery charges were filed against the suspects before the local prosecutor’s office last week. 

Among those charged, according to reports, were David Soriano and Rolando Ibis, who police have tagged as ranking leaders of the New People’s Army’s West Cagayan Front.

Pentecostes, 60, was gunned down by two of eight men in camouflage, as he was leading the flag ceremony at the town hall grounds last April 21. He died from nine gunshots in the head and upper body.

The mayor’s assailants were part of a bigger group of more than 30 armed men who seized control of the town hall grounds, ransacked the municipal building, and commandeered a police patrol car as one of their four getaway vehicles.

Soriano and Ibis were identified in the footage of a closed-circuit television camera installed at the town hall grounds, according to police.

“Whatever the motive is the bottom line remains one and the same, the New People’s Army did it,” Laurel said. 

Barely four days after the attack, the NPA’s West Cagayan Command owned up to the killing, accusing Pentecostes of “espionage” or helping the military in counter-insurgency operations.

The Pentecostes family, however, doubted the NPA’s claim, expressing belief that the killing had something to do with politics. They asked the help of the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a separate probe.

Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, commanding general of the Armed Forces’ Northern Luzon Command, earlier said Pentecostes’ assailants were rebels who have become hired guns.

ARMED FORCES CAGAYAN MAYOR CARLITO PENTECOSTES CAGAYAN VALLEY CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT MIGUEL LAUREL DAVID SORIANO AND ROLANDO IBIS GREGORIO PIO CATAPANG NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NEW PEOPLE NORTHERN LUZON COMMAND SORIANO AND IBIS
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