5 suspects in killing of ex-Batangas solon in police custody

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    FIVE suspects in the Jan. 9 killing of former Batangas congressman Edgard Mendoza, his aide and driver in Tiaong town in Quezon are now in the custody of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

    “There are five of them in custody,” CIDG director Brig. Gen. Joel Coronel said in an ambush interview at Camp Aguinaldo but did not reveal the suspects’ names and when and where they were accosted.

    Coronel said the suspects are being assisted by an attorney while in detention.

    “In the meantime, in order not to prejudice the ongoing investigation, we kept it under wraps,” Coronel said, adding: “As of this time, they are already considered as suspects.”

    The charred remains of Mendoza, his aide Nicanor Mendoza and driver Ruel Ruiz were found inside the solon’s car in Barangay Francisco in Tiaong, Quezon on Jan. 9. Police said Mendoza, along with his aide and driver, left his home in Batangas on Jan. 8 to meet a client in Laguna.

    Tiaong residents informed police of the presence of a burning car the following day. Found inside the car were three charred bodies. DNA tests confirmed they were Mendoza, his aide and driver.

    Coronel said they are gathering additional evidence against the suspects, in coordination with the Department of Justice, before filing charges against them.

    “We have several persons under custody now who we believe are connected in the killing of former Congressman Edgar Mendoza,” said Coronel.