Cops arrest 5 suspects in former congressman’s killing

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Wednesday, January 22, confirmed the arrest of five suspects in the killing of a former congressman, whose body was found torched along with those of two others inside a car in Quezon province.

Brigadier General Joel Napoleon Coronel, acting CIDG director, said the five suspects will face three counts of murder.

Of the five in custody, Coronel said one was identified as the mastermind while another was identified as the person who stabbed and burned the victims inside their vehicle.

“We have several persons under custody now who we believe are connected in the killing of former Congressman Edgar Mendoza. They are undergoing investigation as of the moment and we are on the process gathering additional evidence and we will be also consulting with the Department of Justice’s prosecutors on this account so we would be able to file a strong case against these suspects,” he said in an interview.

Shortly after midnight on January 9, 2020, policemen received a report about a burning vehicle in Barangay San Francisco in Tiaong, Quezon.

Found in the backseat of the burned vehicle were three charred bodies.

Coronel said that based on the DNA test results, one of the fatalities was former Batangas 2nd district congressman Edgar Mendoza.

The two others were his driver, Ruel Ruiz, and bodyguard, Nicanor Mendoza.

Mendoza’s family earlier confirmed that the burned vehicle was the one used by the former congressman when he left home earlier on January 9 to meet with an unidentified person in Laguna.

Coronel said investigators are considering legal dispute as the motive of the killing. One of those arrested admitted having a financial transaction with Mendoza. (SunStar Philippines)