DAVAO CITY: The killer of Cebu businessman Richard King on Tuesday pointed at a ranking police intelligence official as the one who paid him P30,000 to carry out the job.
Paul Dave Labang said he was ordered by Philippine National Police (PNP) regional intelligence unit head Senior Supt. Leonardo Felonia to kill King.
“Ako ang nipusil, sir [I was the one who shot him, sir],” said Labang in a television interview. He said Felonia’s instruction was for him to shoot King. He was told that King is a known drug lord.
Labang was arrested on Sunday morning while two other suspects —brothers Rommel dela Cruz and Rodel dela Cruz—surrendered on Monday afternoon. The dela Cruz siblings also pointed their fingers at Felonia.
Felonia surrended to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Monday evening. The mayor brought Felonia to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Interviewed by the media, Felonia said he turned himself in to Duterte to clear his name. Felonia expressed willingness to be investigated.
“That is why I am here—because I am submitting myself for investigation,” Felonia, looking very distraught, told reporters. “I am looking for my own counsel to defend myself.”
Duterte has urged Felonia to face the music.
“His name popped out during the investigation. He came to learn of it and he talked to me and he said he wanted to surrender. I told him I am not an investigating agency and definitely not the right person to whom he will be submitting himself. I told him to face the music and for him to tell his story. He has to be investigated,” said Duterte, who contributed P300,000 to the P1.3 million reward offered to those who have information on King’s killers.
The Southern Mindanao Police Regional Command was stunned on the allegation that Felonia was behind the murder.
“Definitely, this is not good news for the police,” said Chief Inspector Jed Clamor, spokesperson of the Southern Mindanao Police Regional Command. “Again, the police is in bad light. But this is still subject for investigation.”
Clamor said what the police have are statements of the suspects. “We have to dig deeper into this.”
Southern Mindanao Police Deputy for Operations Senior Supt. Aaron Aquino said Felonia has already been relieved from his office.
King, owner of the Crown Regency chain of hotels, was shot at point blank range while meeting with distributors and consultants of the Vital C Center in Barangay Obrero on June 12. The Kings own Vital C.