Based on a closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, investigators have identified the gunman who shot dead a Manila-based tabloid columnist and his companion in Apalit, Pampanga, last Sunday.
The police investigator, however, have declined to name the suspect pending the filing of proper charges.
“We have a CCTV footage and it was very clear who shot and killed the journalist and his friend,” a source, who was privy to the ongoing probe, told The Manila Times.
The informant said the suspect was now under close monitoring of the police, making sure that he would not leave his place of residence.
“We will file the corresponding charges, maybe homicide,” anytime this week, the source who asked for anonymity added.
Jupiter Gonzales, also known to his friends as Spider, was driving his brown Nissan Almera along Olongapo-Gapan Road with friend Christopher Tiongson at about 10:30 p.m. last October 27 when suddenly it stopped at the side of the road.
Gonzales was a columnist of the tabloid Remate. He was against illegal gambling. He was described by people surrounding him as amiable and always smiling. He had many friends.
“The suspect entered the back seat of the sedan. It appeared that the gunman and Jupiter were having a heated argument. After sometime, the suspect fired at the two, killing Tiongson instantly. Gonzales was brought toa nearby hospital where he was declared dead,” the source said.
The suspect fled the crime scene.
The informant said the suspect was working at the nearby peryahan, which was a few meters away from the crime scene.
Gonzales allegedly was demanding protection money from the suspect who got irritated when the journalist asked for more.
“He was asking P10,000 and more for a total P19 thousand that night. The victim had just come from another peryahan where he also extorted a good sum of money,” the source said.
“Obviously the killing was not planned. The negotiation went awry. Maybe, a homicide case would be filed against the lone suspect,” the source, who was part of the investigating team, said.
Peryahan is a traditional cluster of ferris wheel and other rides. It usually has a big tent where shows are held featuring live animals doing exhibitions. It has a festive mood and people usually flock at night. People play games with winners getting souvenirs. In some corners, however, people may engage in casino-type but traditional betting games, which are usually prohibited.