DOJ starts probe into cops’ alleged role in prosecutor slay

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) started on Monday, January 28, the preliminary investigation into the killing of a Quezon City (QC) prosecutor where 3 policemen are accused of murder.

The accused – Senior Police Officer (SPO) 2 Rodante Sicat Lalimarmo, PO3 Arthur Yasonia Lucy, and PO1 Jose Lunar Mercado – were filed with copies of the complaint on Monday, accusing them of killing QC deputy city prosecutor Rogelio Alfiler Velasco.

Velasco’s family came face to face with the accused on Monday. (READ: Stronger protection for prosecutors pushed in Senate)

It ends an initial investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which filed the complaint before the DOJ.

The accused cops are set to file their counter-affidavits on February 19.

According to the NBI, Velasco was handling an illegal firearms and drug case against Edgardo Lunar Mercado, the brother of PO1 Mercado.

The complaint said Velasco and Mercado shouted at each other on May 10, 2018, after the policeman followed up the case of his brother. 

Velasco was gunned down in Don Antonio Heights, Quezon City on May 11, 2018.

In the 10-page complaint, the NBI said they have CCTV footage that shows the movement of the 3 cops and several still-unidentified accomplices before Velasco was shot dead.

One footage shows Lucy on board a motorcycle and walking towards the DOJ building of the Quezon City Hall where Velasco works, the NBI said.

An unidentified woman is shown in the CCTV following Velasco while talking on the phone.

The series of CCTV footage traced the movement of the 3, leading investigators to conclude that the white Toyota Innova that cut in front of Velasco’s car carried Lalilarmo and Mercado.

Only Mercado was seen to have alighted from the car, the NBI said.

“In the same CCTV footage, Mercado and the three other unidentified gunmen drew their short firearms towards the direction of the driver of the red Toyota Innova and fired their firearms thereto in strategic fashion,” the NBI’s complaint said.

As for Lucy, the NBI said he “was monitoring the asssination (sic)” while on board his motorcycle. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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