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PNP welcomes DOJ pronouncement on Percy Lapid case

October 31, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 602 views

THE Philippine National Police leadership yesterday welcomed the latest pronouncements by Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla Jr. on the significant findings on the investigation of the October 3 killing of radioman Percy Lapid.

“The PNP is taking careful action in handling the documentary, material and testimonial evidence gathered so far by the SITG Percy Lapid that we will present in court,” said PNP chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr.

The SITG Lapid was created by National Capital Region Police Office director, Brigadier Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo to thoroughly investigate the murder of the radio block-timer outside a subdivision in Las Piñas City.

So far, the SITG Lapid has identified over a dozen ‘Persons of Interest’ in the case including a number of prominent active and former government, military, police and other law enforcement officials.

Sec. Remulla said that the ‘middleman’ in the plot to murder Lapid was killed inside the New Bilibid Prison just hours after Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ C. Abalos Jr. presented to Camp Crame newsmen the confessed gunman in the ambush-slay case.

“This is not an accident, not a natural attack but a planned death,” Remulla said on Saturday during a press conference where he was joined by forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun.

Fortun conducted the 2nd autopsy on the body of Cristito Villamor Palaña also known as Jun Villamor/ Crisanto Palaña Villamor. She said that her findings showed that Villamor’s body bore signs of asphyxia by plastic bag suffocation, pulmonary congestion, edema and hemorrhage.

Villamor died at 2 p.m. on October 18, a few hours after Joel Escorial, the confessed gunman was allowed by Sec. Abalos to reveal what ke knows in front of the media.

Now under heavy police security, Escorial said that a Bilibid inmate was the one who talked to him about the plot to kill Lapid for P550,000.

He said he received P140,000 from the actual pot after killing Lapid.

Prior to the Fortun findings, the Bureau of Corrections formerly headed by Director General Gerard Bantag said there was no sign of physical injuries on the body of Palaña and maintained the latter died of a natural cause with no signs of foul play.

The National Bureau of Investigation which is under the NBI conducted an autopsy on Villamor’s body and concluded that there was “no apparent signs of external physical injury.’

The autopsy findings also indicated that Villamor’s heart “showed a hemorrhagic area over the left ventricle” indicating a previous illness.

Not until Dr. Fortun’s 2nd autopsy which ruled that the manner of the inmate’s death is homicide. She said that there is a big possibility that a plastic bag put over the victim’s head killed him. The noted forensic expert also said that the presence of shabu was discovered in Villamor’s system.