CAMP Vicente Lim, Laguna: Police have identified and are preparing charges against two of the suspects in the killing of seven supporters of a mayoralty candidate in Rosario, Cavite hours before the elections on May 9.
Cavite Provincial Director, Senior Supt. Eliseo Cruz, who did not divulge any names, said witnesses positively identified the suspects through photographs, which will be the basis for the filing of charges against them and others named only as John Does.
Cruz said they were also able to trace the owners of the getaway vehicles used in the crime through the plate numbers grabbed from the CCTV footage at the crime scene.
Meanwhile, the officer said they have considered as a person of interest the village chairman of Barangay Wawa 3 – Alexander Estores – after failing to respond to their invitation in connection with their investigation. Estores has not been reporting to the village hall since the incident, and the police cannot trace his whereabouts.
The massacre occurred in Barangay Wawa 3 in Rosario town.
The victims – Amron Sharief, Fabil Magandia, Imam Omair, Imam Ebrahim, Imam Farhan, Imam Rakiin and Ramon Tuazon – were brutally murdered at dawn on election day.
They were supporters of Mayor-elect Jose Voltaire Ricafrente and his father, Vice Mayor-elect Jose “Nonong” Ricafrente.
One of the survivors, Fatar Mampon, is a vital witness.
The victims were on board a Mitsubishi Adventure Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) with plate number URQ-913 and two motorcycles (plate numbers 8055-WK and 8265- DO) when flagged down by the suspects, who were reportedly on board at least six high-end passenger vans.
Witnesses in the area said the victims were sprayed with bullets while being asked to kneel down near their vehicles. Mampon escaped death by crawling away from his companions and playing dead.
Recovered from the crime scene were spent shells from 9mm pistols and M16 rifles.
The Ricafrentes said they are giving their full support to the investigation to serve justice in what he called the “senseless killing” of his supporters, who have settled in Rosario since 1992. The victims were traders from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.