A witness at the recent Senate hearing on the killing of Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino claimed a political rival allegedly hatched the murder plot after earlier trying to implicate the slain mayor as a protector of a policeman supposedly involved in illegal drugs trade.
A POLICEMAN who was allegedly involved in the killing of Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino last month, has confessed to what many local residents know beforehand- that politics was the motive behind the murder.
During a hearing conducted by Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs yesterday (June 9), Police Master Sergeant Jose Jay Senario claimed that Capt. Joselito Tabada, chief of the Samar Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit, asked him in 2018 to create documents for the application of search warrant for the mayor.
Tabada was one of those killed in the shootout last March which claimed Aquino’s life as well as several others. (See also: Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino killed in ambush )
“Two options ang ibinigay sa akin. It’s either to apply for search warrant or i-ambush na lang si Mayor Aquino,” Senario said during the hearing.
At first, Senario was reluctant to testify, but upon prodding by Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, later claimed a political rival of Aquino allegedly tried to implicate the slain mayor as a protector of a policeman supposedly involved in drugs.
“May instance doon na may isang politician na pinagawa ako ng isang affidavit. Sabi sa akin doon, kumuha ka ng isang asset, pagawan mo ng isang affidavit. Kasi si Mayor Aquino mayroon siyang isang pulis doon na naging escort na sinasabi nila na alleged na involved sa drugs,” the witness said.
“So ang pinagawa sa akin, gumawa ako ng isang affidavit, implicating doon sa pulis na sinasabi doon na si Mayor Aquino is protector sa pulis na ‘yun,” he added.
Senario said a copy of the affidavit was then forwarded to Col. Nicholas Torre III, who was provincial director of Samar during that time.
“Noong naibigay na ‘yung papel, sinabi, wag muna ‘yan, sabi ni PD (provincial director), mayroon pang ibang plano. Hindi ko na alam ano na ‘yung sumunod na plano,” he added.
Senario later admitted that it was Raymundo Uy, who was defeated by Aquino in a previous mayoralty race, who made him do the affidavit.
Dela Rosa said his committee will invite the personalities mentioned by Senario in the next hearing on the incident so they can give their side.
Ambush, not shootout
Meanwhile, a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) official also testified that Aquino's killing was an "ambush," not a "shootout" as some policemen claimed.
During the hearing, NBI Eastern Visayas Chief Jerry Abiera said the ambush was allegedly planned for months by members of Samar police.
Abiera said two phones found in the crime scene and turned over to the NBI "revealed that Mayor Aquino had been subjected to monitoring as early as October 2020."
"The vehicles he and his associates used were under the microscope of his assailants and showed the latter’s determination and plan to eliminate Mayor Aquino. Text messages also disclosed that Mayor Aquino had been falsely implicated [in the] illegal drug trade," he said.
Anti-narcotics officials said during the hearing that Aquino was not on the drugs watch list. (JKA/With report from OpinYon News and PDI)
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