Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ambush survivor tags ex-mayor, fugitive in slay try

GAPAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – The son of a former mayoral candidate who survived an ambush attempt Tuesday yesterday tagged the father of incumbent Mayor Maricel Natividad and a fugitive   behind the daylight attack that led to the massacre of four persons.

          Emerson Pascual, one of four survivors in the ambush, accused Natividad’s father, former three-term mayor Ernesto and his alleged gun-for-hire Ricardo Peralta of orchestrating the ambush along with detained barangay chairman Montano Barlis.

          “They are out to kill us. They want to wipe us out so the murder cases against them would no longer be pursued,” Pascual told newsmen.

          Pascual was referring to the murder cases against the elder Natividad, Peralta and 17 others in connection with the March 20,2006 attack on a cockpit arena in Barangay Pambuan in which five persons, including two of Emerson’s brothers – Erickson and Ebertson were killed.

          The elder Natividad was arrested last February while Peralta, tagged as the country’s most wanted man in 2004, remains in hiding.

          Four persons, including a policeman, were killed last Tuesday when five armed men fired at Pascual’s group along Tinio St., Barangay San Lorenzo, triggering a brief firefight.

          Police arrested and detained Barlis who is now facing four counts of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder.       

Police Superintendent Bernard Orig, Gapan police chief, said they will look into the political angle behind the massacre, which has been condemned by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.

Rose Roque, VACC chief coordinator, described the attack as “cowardly and senseless killings.”

“This is detestable as they didn’t spare even innocent lives,” Roque said.  

Police authorities have yet to identify the other suspects although they vowed to come up  with cartographic sketches based on the description of witnesses.

Pascual’s group alighted from their vehicle and was about to enter a restaurant when the suspects, all armed with automatic gunfire, shot them. They fled aboard a beige Toyota Hi-lux vehicle with license plate TT-1506.

         Some 500 slugs of various types of guns were left in the crime scene from 9 mm and .45 caliber revolvers, M-14 Armalite rifle, AK-47 and M-16 rifles.

Orig said the vehicle, which was reportedly carnapped from its owner, was found abandoned in the adjacent town of San Isidro. It was registered in the name of businessman Rafael Reyes of Talavera town.

Pascual revealed that as early as three weeks ago, his family has information that armed men have been making the rounds in the city.

Chief Superindent Edgar Ladao and Senior Superintendent Crizaldo Nieves, regional and provincial directors, respectively, have ordered the deployment of more police personnel from the Police Security Protection Group to provide security to the Pascuals.

Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation has joined the investigation into the killings.

Lawyer Jose Justo Yap, NBI regional director for Central Luzon, has tasked provincial director Rizaldy Jaymalin to conduct a parallel probe in collaboration with Task Force Pascual led by the Nueva Ecija police. (Manny Galvez)


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