MANILA — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have jointly filed criminal charges against Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia and 15 other individuals before the Misamis Oriental Prosecutor’s Office in connection with the ambush staged against Iligan City (Lone District) Rep. Vicente Belmonte.
Three persons were killed and three others injured, including Belmonte, when armed men ambushed the convoy of the lawmaker while traversing the Access Road in Barangay Gasi, Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental on Dec. 11, 2014.
Charged with multiple murder with multiple frustrated murder were Regencia, Amador Baller, Rogelio Pitos, Sr., Romeo Suganub, Dominador Tumala, Peejay Capangpangan, Alfeo Arnoco, Julito Oros Ansad, Dodo Silvano, Rogelio Pitos, Jr., one alias “Jimmy”, alias “Ruel”, alias “Diego”, alias “Jimboy” and two “John Doe”.
In their complaint, the NBI and the PNP gave weight to the extra-judicial confession of one of the suspects, Tumala, who is currently detained at the Initao District Jail in Misamis Oriental.
In his extra-judicial confession, Tumala, a former member of the New People’s Army (NPA), admitted his participation in the commission of the crime.
He even pointed to the investigators the cockpit arena which is owned by one “Dongki, which was later identified as the alias of Baller, located in Tambo, Iligan City where the ambush operation was planned.
Tumala claimed that also present during the planning of the ambush to be staged was Mayor Regencia, who allegedly gave the “final briefings” pertaining to the “target” of the ambush, Rep. Vicente Belmonte.
Politics was the alleged motive in the said ambush because Regencia is planning to run for congressman of Iligan City.