One of Usec Aquino's killers identified

June 26, 2009 8:05 am 

MANILA, June 26 –Police have arrested one of the four suspects in the ambush-slaying of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Ramon Aquino last March.

Chivas Gerona, alias Philip Miranda, 23, of Kabilang Baybay, Carmona, Cavite, is presently in the custody of the Northern Police District – District Police Intelligence and Operating Unit (DPIOU).

Three witnesses identified Gerona as one of the four men who gunned down Aquino, the Manila Police District (MPD) said on Friday.

The attack on Aquino also resulted in the wounding of his driver Victor Salonga and bodyguard Antonio Canaleta.

Aquino, 54, chief of staff of Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, was appointed undersecretary last year, after 31 years of service first as civil engineering aide, then as Region 3 director, then as assistant secretary in Ebdane’s office.

Chief Inspector Erwin Margarejo, chief of the MPD-Homicide Section, said Task Force Aquino continued to identify the mastermind and three of his accomplices. Earlier reports said Gerona was arrested last June 6 inside a mall’s parking lot in Molino, Bacoor, Cavite based on an arrest warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Judge Sonia T. Yu-Casanu of RTC Branch 31 of San Pedro, Laguna.

Gerona was also tagged behind the shooting of Metro Manila Development Authority operations chief Roberto Esquivel’s son and driver in San Pedro, Laguna last Feb. 2.

Last March 11, Aquino was gunned down as he was about to leave the DPWH premises aboard his black Toyota Fortuner at around 3:10 p.m.

His driver and aide were also wounded in the attack by two gunmen who escaped on a motorcycle.

Aquino died on March 19 at 3:20 p.m. of multiple organ failure at the Manila Doctor’s Hospital in Ermita, Manila.

The MPD said charges of murder and double frustrated murder were lodged against Chivas Gerona, 23, alias Philip Miranda, and two John Does and a Jane Doe.

The four were believed members of the dreaded Alex Boncayao vigilante group, earlier reports said. (PNA)



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