Did mastermind of King’s slay pay P20M?
Police are looking into a report that the mastermind behind the June 12 killing of businessman Richard King paid P20 million for his murder.
“Based on what we’ve heard, the group [that carried out the killing of King] received P20 million. We are now verifying that information,” said Chief Supt. Wendy Rosario, Southern Mindanao police chief at a a news briefing at Camp Crame.
He said investigators were looking into the possibility that King’s killing was related to the murder of an Ati leader on Boracay Island in February last year.
“Business and hatred” was the motive behind the murder, according to an official PNP statement.
However, no specific name was mentioned as the mastermind.
It said the case build-up started with a background investigation of the business interests of King as owner of health products company Vital C and Crown Regency Hotel, including “his alleged personal relationship with a business partner in a construction venture in Boracay Island.”
“Investigators took note of internal conflicts within the victim’s business ventures, particularly over the alleged mismanagement of one of his co-owned companies that has resulted in losses estimated at P150-million,” said the PNP statement.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas praised the police for their efforts to solve the King killing, saying their action was a “textbook example of a systematic and methodical investigation aided by forensic science, proper police investigative procedure and criminal intelligence.”
With the arrest and the filing of murder charges against three men who confessed participation in the killing, Rosario said the police now considered the case solved.
“We believe we have an airtight case against the suspects,” he said.
However, Rosario admitted the police had no evidence against Felonia besides the extrajudicial confession of Paul Dave Labang, who said it was he who shot King inside his office in Barrio Obrero in Davao City.
Rommel dela Cerna and his brother Rodel had also confessed being the lookout and the driver of the getaway motorcycle, respective.
In their affidavits, the brothers claimed Felonia arranged for them to kill the hotelier.
“Other than the confession of Labang, we don’t have concrete evidence to link Felonia. All we have is the testimony of the self-confessed gunman which was corroborated by the Dela Cerna brothers,” Rosario said.
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