Police nab two suspects in Evangelista kidnap-slay

January 22, 2011 1:38 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 21 – Police authorities on Friday arrested two suspects in the gruesome kidnap-slaying of car trader Venson Evangelista during intensified operations in Central Luzon, a ranking police official said.

Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) deputy director Chief Supt. Benito Estipona, concurrent head of the special investigating task group (SITG) created to dig deeper into the recent rise in abduction-killings of car traders, identified those arrested as Alfred Mendiola and Batibot Farolan.

The two were arrested one after the other by combined operatives of the Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3), the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and the SITG somewhere in Bulacan province.

Estipona said that follow up operations are ongoing.

Estipona said the duo admitted their involvement in the kidnap-slaying of Evangelista on January 14.

”They have extra judicial confession regarding their participation in the case,” said Estipona in a radio interview.

Mendiola was said to have part of the group which initially snatched Evangelista during a supposed test drive of his Toyota Land Cruiser in Barangay Pinagkaisahan, Quezon City. On the other hand, Farolan claimed that some of the personal belongings of the victim were entrusted to them by the car jacking group.

Estipona tagged the notorious Dominguez carjacking gang, led by Raymond Dominguez, as responsible in the Evangelista case.

Raymond Dominguez is on temporary liberty after managing to post bail last year for carjacking charges. Several luxury vehicles were recovered from his condominium unit raided by operatives of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG). ”Four other suspects are now being hunted,” said Estipona.

Estipona said the murder and kidnapping charges are being readied against Mendiola while Farolan would be charged as an accomplice.

Evangelista’s charred body was recovered on Tuesday in Cabanatuan City. His Toyota Land Cruiser remain missing.

Earlier, Emerson Lozano, son of lawyer Oliver Lozano, also went missing on January 12 after allowing a prospective buyer of his Kia Carnival for a test drive also in Quezon City. His burnt body was recovered days later at the Megadike in Porac, Pampanga, while the body of his driver, Ernane Sensil, was recovered in Lapaz, Tarlac.

PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo immediately created "SITGs Lozano and Evangelista" to expedite the investigation of the cases which alarmed the public. (PNA) LAM/MM

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