Saturday, November 04, 2006

Suspect in Cavite mediaman's killing surrenders

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines came out with this alert yesterday.

Suspect in Cavite mediaman's killing yields

Two weeks after a regional trial court ordered their arrest, one of the two principal suspects in the killing of a Cavite-based journalist has turned himself in to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group on Thursday morning, police said.

Senior Supt. Mark Edison Belarma, CIDG-Calabarzon director, identified the suspect as Nemensio Argente, 47, of Naic, Cavite.

Belarma said Argente, who was earlier identified as "Melencio," was one of the primary suspects in the killing of Arnulfo Villanueva, a writer and columnist for Asian Star Express Balita tabloid.

Villanueva was gunned down inside the suspect's nipa hut in Barangay Munting Mapino, Naic town on February 28, 2005.

Another suspect, Jose Allan Tayson, is still at-large.

"He looked haggard. He said he has not been getting a good sleep for two weeks," Belarma told the (Philippine Daily) INQUIRER, referring to Argente.

"His surrender will be a big boost in our investigation. It will help us to finally resolve the killing of Villanueva," he added.

Despite Argente's surrender, Belarma said they were still uncertain over the real motive of the killing.

"We are still looking at all possible angles in this murder. We are not discounting that this was work-related," he said.

Supt. Elwin Fernandez, CIDG-Cavite chief, said the suspect sent surrender feelers to their office shortly after news about the release of warrants of arrest against him and his co-accused broke out two weeks ago.

Fernandez said Argente contacted one of his men, SPO1 Dionisio Enriquez, who fetched him from a church in Imus,
Cavite at around 8 a.m.

From the church, the suspect was immediately brought to the CIDG office in Camp Gen. Pantaleon Garcia, also in Imus.

During interrogation, Fernandez said Argente denied having a hand in the murder, saying he did not have any motive in killing Villanueva.

"He said he was not around when the killing happened. But the fact remains that it happened inside his (Argente) house," Fernandez said in a mobile phone interview.

"But his statements are doubtful," Belarma said.

Fernandez, however, said that Argente could be released from detention once he pays the required P40,000 bail set by the court.

He said the prosecutor's office only a filed homicide case against the suspects "because what we have were only circumstantial evidences."

"The problem is that we don't have any eye witnesses or direct witnesses who saw the killing," he explained.

Despite this, Fernandez is confident that they can pin down the suspect based on the evidences they will present in court.

Shortly before his death, Villanueva was seen riding on his motorcycle together with a still unidentified woman.

Police records showed the victim went to Argente's house apparently to trade his .38-caliber revolver for the suspect's refrigerator.

But when the suspect found out that the gun was unserviceable, the two engaged in a heated argument which led to the killing of Villanueva. (INQUIRER Southern Luzon report)

No comments:

Blog directory