Suspects in Cebu businessman’s slay nabbed; cop surrenders

Karlos Manlupig

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Suspects in Cebu businessman’s slay nabbed; cop surrenders
A police official also surrenders to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the wake of rumors linking him to the slay


DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Local police forces arrested on Sunday afternoon, June 22, three men believed to be involved in the murder of wealthy hotelier Richard King in Davao City.

The suspects were identified as Paul Labang, Rodel dela Cerna and Rommel dela Cerna.

Authorities said Labang was the gunman while Rommel conducted the surveillance. Rodel acted as the driver of the get-away motorcycle.

King, a prominent businessman from Cebu, was shot dead inside the Vital C Building where he was meeting with distributors, in Obrero, Davao City on June 12, 2014. He was 56.

The owner of Crown Regency Group of Hotels, King suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died on the spot. 

King was the chairman of Vital-C Land Development Corporation, the CEO of J. King and Sons, the president of Fuente Triangle Realty Development Corp and the founder and director of Boracay Multiple Properties Developers Inc.

Police sources said Rommel dela Cerna is an apparent informant of the local police force.

Rommel allegedly divulged that a police official based at the Police Regional Office 11 ordered the killing, the police said.

Police official surrenders

And while the 3 suspects were facing inquest proceedings at the Hall of Justice in Davao City on Monday evening, June 23, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte met with ranking officials at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Region 11 to say that someone had surrendered to him to clear his name.

Police Superintendent Leonardo Felonia, the chief of the Regional Intelligence Unit Davao Region of the PNP, then entered the room.

Duterte explained that Felonia’s name was dragged into the King slay case.

“He surrendered to me but I told him that I am not the proper person or entity,” Duterte said.

Duterte narrated that Felonia refused to surrender to the PNP and that he suggested to Felonia to surrender instead to the NBI.

“I will not speculate but I wanted this investigated properly,” Duterte said.

The mayor said Felonia must clear his name by cooperating with the investigation.

Felonia asserted that he is innocent and that he will fully cooperate with the authorities.

“That is why I am here. I am submitting myself to investigation,” Felonia said.

Duterte also dismissed rumors that the victim was involved in the illegal drug trade.

The police would not deprive the public important information and would openly confirm it if the rumors were true, Duterte said.

Earlier this week, the police released a composite facial sketch of the gunman along with the announcement that the bounty for any information that would lead to the arrest of the suspects was raised to P1.3 million. –

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