Suspect in Cebu hotel owner murder nabbed

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DAVAO CITY: The suspect in the killing of Cebu hotel owner Richard King was arrested on Sunday morning, police said on Monday.

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Southern Mindanao Police Regional Command spokesperson Chief Insp. Jed Clamor said Paul Dave Labang was positively identified by five eye witnesses.

“He was the one who shot the victim,” said Clamor in a telephone interview. “Five witnesses identified him as the one who attacked the victim.”

Clamor said the suspect fit the artist sketch and immediately after he was arrested, he was put in a police line up where the witnesses identified him.

Reports said two other suspects, one of them the driver of the getaway motorcycle, were arrested, but Clamor refused to confirm this.

“I cannot give you any confirmation on that yet,” Clamor said.

But Southern Mindanao Police Command chief of staff Senior Supt. Camilo Cascolan said the police has two suspects but he did not identify any of them. Cascolan said they are trying to verify reports if the suspects were indeed arrested or if they surrendered.

Richard 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.

Witnesses earlier said they saw the gunman casually walking inside the gathering and positioned himself at the back of the victim.

The gunman, witnesses said, even panicked as he escaped, tripping as he looked for the exit before fleeing on a motorcycle.

A P1.3 million reward, including P300,000 from Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, has been raised for those who can give information about King’s killers.

With the arrest of Labang, Clamor said the next business is for the police to identify the brains behind the killings and the motives.

“Labang is still undergoing interrogations now,” said Clamor. “What we need to know are the details of the killings, including the motives, the brains, among others. We have to answer questions such as—did he act on his own? Was he paid? And if he was, who hired him?”

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