Solved or still half-baked case vs. the Dominguez brothers?
I AM not inclined to believe that the murder of car dealers Vernon Evangelista and Emerson Lozano, including the latter’s driver, Ernani Sensil had been “solved” and that the masterminds behind the killings were the brothers Raymond and Roger Dominguez.
I would like to think, rather, that the case is still “half-baked” as the police still have no concrete evidence yet directly linking the Dominguez brothers to the case.
What the police have are two “witnesses” identified as Alfred “Bading” Mendiola and Ferdinand “Batibot” Parulan who voluntarily surrendered and provided and “dictated” the information they have about the case.
The PNP’s special investigation task group led by Chief Superintendent Benito Estipona claims the murders were already “effectively solved” with the recovery/discovery of evidences in an apartment used by the Dominguez car theft syndicate in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Seized during Friday night’s raid at the syndicate’s “safehouse” in Greenville Subdivision in Barangay San Jose, San Fernando were three handguns, bullets, hand-held radio sets and batteries, 22 sets of car plates and metal plates with engraved chassis or body numbers.
The police have filed kidnapping with murder and car theft against Bading and Batibot and are now determining if they could be considered suspects or witnesses to the crime.
But the police have yet to find a certain Rolly (the mechanic) and Joel (the alleged gunman) who we all were made to believe were the actual killers of Lozano, Evangelista and Sensil allegedly upon orders of the Dominguez brothers. I just hope Rolly and Joel are real persons and that they are still alive.
If my hunch serves me right, I fear that the two “suspects” now in police custody are just being used as “planted witnesses” who may soon or sooner “recant” and claim that their statements were made “in duress” or were tortured to admit to the crime by their custodians.
My fear is not without basis. As a police reporter for years, I have seen a lot times suspects, imagined or real participants to a crime, recanting or revising for several times their statements given to police investigators to weaken the case.
Unless or until the police have arrested or captured Joel and Rolly and have obtained real “confessions” that the Dominguez brothers ordered them to kill Evangelista, Lozada and Sensil, then all the authorities have are only circumstantial evidences against the alleged masterminds.
The Dominguez brothers, on the other hand, can always have good alibis. They can claim that they have nothing to do with the crime, they were not seen or heard near the crime scene, that they do not know personally Bading and Parulan, etc.
People who have money and have great criminal minds usually use “cut aways” in committing crimes, making sure that the “end of the rope” would not lead to them. That is unless they commit some mistakes or lapses that investigators would later find out.
This could be one of the reasons why anytime a car theft case crops up and is linked to the Dominguez brothers, they have become bold enough to come out in the open and even ask for TV interviews “to clear their names.”
Despite facing least 19 of car theft cases pending in courts against them, particularly in Bulacan, the Dominguez brothers from Calumpit are still scot-free as they can hire the best lawyers to handle their cases.
The brothers, I was informed, are also enjoying “protection” from a senior police official and a big-time politician both based in Bulacan. The police official was relieved from his post yesterday.
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