The case folder containing records of the death of Raquel Ambrosio, the alleged lover of former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado and daughter of the late comedian Babalu can no longer be located, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Makati City Police said on Tuesday.
Because of this, NBI Director Virgilio Mendez has ordered a thorough search of the missing case files. The NBI chief said the murder case can still be revived.
The 12-year-old case was again brought to the attention of the public during a Senate inquiry into the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2. Mercado was one of the resource persons during hearings at the chamber.
Ambrosio died on April 24, 2002 inside a condominium unit reportedly owned by Mercado. The circumstances surrounding her supposed suicide were strongly doubted because a gunshot wound was to her stomach, not her head or mouth.
Her death became more mysterious after case investigators admitted that they failed to investigate the crime scene since it was already put back in order when they arrived.
The probers also failed to investigate the firearm that was used by Ambrosio to kill herself because it was already missing and was only surrendered to the police by one of Mercado’s personnel two days after the incident.
The police reportedly based their investigation only on the account and statements of Mercado, who was then the vice mayor of Makati City (Metro Manila).
Mercado reportedly told the police that prior to the suicide, he had quarreled with Ambrosio on the issue on who should live in their resort in Bataan province.
The Ambrosio case folder was reported missing in both the office of the NBI-Death Investigation Division and even its records section, prompting Mendez to order the search.
Meanwhile, the Makati City Police chief, Sr. Supt. Ernesto Barlam, also ordered a search for the folder after they discovered that it was missing.