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Capalla’s gun-slay a ‘cleared case’- PNP (Newsfeature)

By V.L.Orquiola

ILOILO CITY, Mar. 30 (PNA) –Barely 13 days after the gun-slay of businessman and former ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Oton, Iloilo, the Philippine National Police (PNP) here considered the heinous crime as a “cleared case.”

This after the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) formed by the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) probing into death of 65-year-old Romeo Capalla y Robles of Brgy. San Antonio, Oton said they have already identified the suspects.

C/Inspector Joseph Almaquer, spokesman of SITG Capalla, said the suspect’s identification came after several witnesses surfaced and assisted the task group in taking a computerized facial composite of suspects and in providing sworn statements to help the PNP in their investigation.

In a close scrutiny of the closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) footage inside the Oton Public Market made by the Task Group led to the identification of one of suspects as Julie Cabino alias Jojo Cabarles or Jojo Cabino who was identified by witnesses through pictures of the IPPO rouges gallery as Capalla’s assassin.

With the suspect’s identification, the Task Group has already submitted on Friday a 39-page case folder before the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for the filing of murder charges against prime suspect Cabino and four other John Does as respondents.

Police said that Cabino who is a resident of Leon, Iloilo has been previously charged of attempted murder of the village chieftain in Tigbauan, Iloilo but the case was subsequently settled.

He was also a member of the NPA’s break-away group Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) under the leadership of Demetrio Capilastique alias Ka Hugo of Leon town whose killing early last year was admitted by no less than the extremist NPA rebel.

The untiring effort and dedication of members of SITG Capalla under the strong leadership of the IPPO Director S/Supt. Cornelio Salinas and Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) regional director C/Supt. Josephus Angan led to the solution of the case within two weeks’ time.

Almaquer said Task Group Capalla will not stop on the filing of the case but will also pursue available avenue for the arrest of the suspect and subsequent conviction of culprits of Cappala’s assassination.

The PRO-6 regional director also asked the support and cooperation of the community to provide the police vital information that could lead to the arrest of the gunman and his accomplices even as copies of CCTV footage has been sent to the Director of the Anti-Cyber Crime Group at the national headquarters in Camp Crame for forensic video enhancement.

Meanwhile, the SITG Capalla is not also discounting possible vendetta on the part of the RPA-ABB behind the gun-slay of Capalla who return to civilian life and engaged a business endeavor without a formal surrender to military authorities being a former ranking leader of the Corazon Chiva Waling-Waling Command of the Panay Regional Party Committee under the hierarchy of the NPA in Panay island.

Apart from his former affiliation with the NPA, the arm wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the Task Group is also considering other angles that include personal grudges and business rivalries as possible motive behind Capalla’s death.

Prior to his death, Capalla was concurrently the manager of the Panay Fair Trade Center that deals on muscovado or brown sugar and other native products being exported abroad.

Capalla came from his residence in Brgy. San Antonio, Oton when gunned down by one of the two suspects early Saturday evening of March 15 just after he alighted from the service vehicle on his way to his store inside the Oton Public Market.

The two suspects were later joined by three other suspects serving as back-up onboard two motorcycles in their haste escape towards the direction of nearby Tigbauan town after the shooting incident.

It was learned that the slain Capalla has been finally laid to rest at his hometown in Leon, Iloilo last Sunday with no less than his brother Davao Emeritus Archbishop Fernando Capalla who conducted the requiem mass during the interment rites.(PNA)

CTB/AJP/VLORQUIOLA

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