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Police admit difficulty in solving slay try on Bat

Posted by Abi Kwok on September 4, 2008

Suspects ‘not professionals’

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 13:34:00 09/04/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Police on Wednesday admitted difficulty in solving the assassination attempt on Batanes Governor Telesforo Castillejos because the province has a “very low crime rate” and no history of political violence.

“[Castillejos’] profile is very clean. In the political history of Batanes, there are no cases of political violence. Politicians there don’t carry guns,” said Senior Superintendent Ericson Velasquez, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR) in an interview.

Castillejos and Patimo were wounded but have been declared out of danger and in stable conditions at the same hospital.

Velasquez said that the key to solving the incident was to obtain the testimony of the driver, Arnold Patimo, who remains in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the Medical City in Pasig City.

“Kailangan pang makausap ang driver…mahalagang makausap siya para malaman kung ano talagang nangyari sa loob. Ano ba iyong sitwasyon sa daan [We need to talk to the driver…it is important we talk to him so we will know exactly what happened. What was the situation on the road] at that time or before [the ambush]? From here, we can analyze kung paano nalaman ang movement at kung paano na-trigger yung sumunod sa kanila [how their movement was known and how the ones trailing them were triggered to strike],” he said.

Nevertheless, Velasquez said the would-be killers showed a “lack of professionalism.”

“If the victims are immobilized, the next thing you should do is to finish the job, especially in this case walang masyadong [where there were not many] witness[es],” he said.

Police are looking at either politics or a traffic altercation as the motive for the ambush.

However, while noting that their investigation indicated all six bullets fired were aimed at the driver, if the shooting was triggered by a traffic altercation, it was “a bit violent.”

On Wednesday, National Capital Region Police Office Director Geary Barias noted that there is a case against Castillejos filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“The assailant knew the schedule [of Castillejos], assuming that it was a planned attack. But we spoke with the guards of the subdivision at wala naman daw kasunod si [and they saw no one tailing the] governor from the subdivision,” he said.

Velasquez also confirmed reports that the Pasay City police officials have traced text messages circulating in Batanes province last week that Castillejos would be losing his post.

But Velasquez described this angel as “unreliable” because “kung ikaw ang gagawa ng assassination, bakit mo iinform pa ang taong papatayin mo [if you will carry out an assassination, why inform the person you are going to kill]?”

Velasquez said police have already interviewed the staff of Castillejos on the possible leak of the governor’s schedule.


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