Davao City businessmen are unfazed by the series of high-profile killings confident Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and police are on top of the situation.
Despite the killings, businessmen still consider Davao City safe to live in, the head of the city’s business chamber said.
The city’s business community is not threatened by the killings. Businessmen and investors are confident of protection by authorities, said Antonio dela Cruz, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCI).
We trust Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who is on top of the situation. We are aware that all these could happen but we have a very strong local government unit, Dela Cruz said.
But Dela Cruz urged businessmen to help in the fight against criminalities by complying with the city ordinance requiring business establishments to install Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in their premises.
Three high-profile killings occurred in the city in a span of less than two months but two of them are deemed solved.
The robbery-killing of businessman Ramon TY Garcia was solved less than 24 hours after his dead body was found dumped in a ravine in Davao del Sur. Two arrested suspects, a woman and his boyfriend who admitted to the crime, have been charged with homicide with robbery.
Three suspects who confessed participation in the June 12 murder of Cebu City businessman Richard King have been arrested and charged. Police Supt. Leonardo Felonia was also charged with murder after the three claimed they were hired by the police officer for the hit job.
Police however is still investigating the case of lawyer Emmanuel Acuna who was gunned down while waiting for his girlfriend in JP Laurel Avenue in Lanang.
Duterte said the recent killings would not instill fear on businessmen because they were isolated cases and could have been motivated by passion.
Police initially theorized that passion killing was behind the death of the three victims.
The woman charged in the killing of Garcia was a friend of the owner of the Nanay Bebeng chain of restaurants. Her accomplice was her boyfriend.
Investigators are not discounting crime of passion in the case of the murder of King.
What businessmen fear, according to Duterte, is kidnapping for ransom by syndicates.
King murder a P20M hit job?
While police further dig deeper into the murder of Cebu businessman Richard King, speculations are flying thick and thin about the motive or motives for the murder.
Because four suspects have been arrested and charged, including Police Supt. Leonardo Felonia, there are speculations about how much was involved in the hit job.
P20M but only P120,000 went to the ones who did the dirty job: Paul Labang, the confessed triggerman, and the brothers Rommel and Ronel dela Cerna.
“Unconfirmed reports showed that the hit was worth P20 million but Labang and the dela Cerna brothers only received P120,000,” reports the Davao City-based news site botconsultancy.com
Police investigators have fanned out of Davao City to find more suspects and establish motives: from business, to personal to love angles.
“It was learned that PRO 11 regional director Wendy Rosario sent Sta. Ana police station commander Superintendent Royena Garma to Metro Manila to gather information from people related to King.
Operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Davao were also sent to Cebu and Iloilo to do the same,” said the news site.
Was the King murder a passion killing?
Botconsultancy writes: “The alleged involvement of a couple trader continues to persist as well as the angle on business and love triangle as motives behind the killing. The husband was allegedly suspecting that his wife and King were having an affair.”
“The wife is said to be a business partner of the victim in one of his businesses here in Davao City. The wife who is now at a hospital in Metro Manila undergoing a medical procedure is said to be under constant monitoring by the police now.”
Duterte hands off in Felonia murder rap
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is keeping his hands off the case of Supt. Leonardo Felonia who has been charged in the murder of Cebu City businessman Richard King.
Felonia has served the Davao City Police Office for years before he was promoted to head the police Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU) in Southern Mindanao. Felonia reports to the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame and is not under the Region Eleven PNP Command.
Three suspects who confessed participation in the killing of King have fingered Felonia as having hired them for the hit job.
I will not interfere with the probe, said Duterte at the regional office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) where he accompanied Felonia on Monday night.
Felonia had surrendered to Duterte after learning he was linked to the King murder, but Duterte told him he should present himself to authorities for investigation.
On Tuesday the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed charges of murder against Felonia, Paul Labang, the alleged triggerman, and brothers Rommel and Ronel dela Cerna.