A witness has claimed that the police “set up” a robbery so that Robin Villarosa, who was shot dead last week by policemen, would be caught red handed.
Mark Joseph Manalo, 21, alias “Dagul”, admitted that he was part of the police plan to capture Villarosa, who was linked to a number of robbery incidents near the University of Santo Tomas.
Manalo however said he did not expect Villarosa would be shot dead by policemen.
In a press conference held at the National Bureau of Investigation, Manalo said Senior Inspector Rommel Salazar, head of the Gulod Police Community Precinct, asked him to set up Villarosa. The alleged robbery victim, Steven de Leon, a village council member, was also part of the plan.
In a CCTV video, Manalo was seen jumping out of the tricycle before Villarosa was shot dead by the police operatives.
Aside from Salazar, other policemen implicated in the operation were P03 Ferdinand Valera, P01 Ronald Dipacina, P01 Diomar Landoy, and PO1 Rhoel Landrito.
“Before the night of July 13, Salazar asked me to help them set up Robin. They said they want to arrest him because he was responsible for a series of hold-ups in the vicinity of the University of Santo Tomas. They promised to reward me P20,000. But after the operation, Salazar handed me P2,000 and asked to me to leave for the province,” Manalo said.
Manila Police Director Rolando Nana said Manalo’s testimony will be submitted to the Manila Prosecutor’s Office.
“The fiscal will determine if Manalo will be treated as a witness or a suspect,” he told reporters.
“Manalo is the missing link in our investigation. We now know why Villarosa was killed,” Nana said. Nevertheless, he added that the testimony of Manalo will be counter-checked by the investigators. Task Force Gulod was formed last July 14 to probe the rubout incident.