The police were set to file murder charges yesterday against a couple and the two gunmen still at-large for the murder of a businessman in Campacalan, Sibulan in Negros Oriental Thursday.
Hours after Demetrio Larena III, 64, of San Antonio Village, Sibulan, was shot in his SUV around 9 a.m. Thursday, the police took into custody Jerry Inocerta and his wife, Expedita, said to be employees of the victim, who admitted having knowledge of the crime, police provincial director, Senior Supt. Edward Carranza, said.
At a press conference yesterday morning, Carranza said the Inocerta couple is now in the custody of the local office of the National Bureau of Investigation.
The involvement of purported members of an organized crime group responsible for a variety of cases in the province is also being considered, he said.
Based on testimonies of the couple, police say the motive for the crime was personal in nature but did not elaborate. Carranza assured that after charges have been filed against the couple, the police will give further details on the killing.
The gunmen who are at-large have been identified by the couple as Jimmy Inocerta, Jerry’s brother, and a certain “Misael”, Carranza said.
Both are reportedly part of a five-member organized group facing murder and robbery charges, San Jose town police chief, Senior Insp. Ronilo Macasilhig, said.
Through text messages recovered from the victim’s mobile phone, the police tracked down the Inocerta couple at a beach house in Cangmating, Sibulan, owned by the late Larena where Jerry worked as caretaker and his wife, Expedita, as laundrywoman.
NBI agents brought the couple around midnight Thursday to their office, during which Jerry Inocerta also voluntarily surrendered a .38 caliber revolver.
Carranza said the ambush-slay of Larena was pre-meditated, based on evidence investigators gathered.
Investigators also discovered that Jerry Inocerta allegedly sent a text message to Larena, pretending to be Expedita, saying she was waiting for him along the national highway near the Campaclan Elementary School in Sibulan.
New evidence gathered reveal that the two gunmen were waiting for Larena to pass at the elementary school and, as the victim slowed down, they pulled open the front doors of the SUV and shot him at close range, the police said.
Larena sustained at least three gunshot wounds on the forehead, neck and chest, and was killed instantly.
The police have ruled out robbery as the motive for the killing as Larena’s personal belongings appeared intact inside the SUV. But other angles such as extortion are also being eyed.*JFP
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