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MANILA, Philippines - Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo on Monday directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to go after remnants of the notorious Dominguez carjacking group who he believe were behind the murder of star witness Alfred Mendiola in Cavite last Sunday.
“I believe that the remnants of the Dominguez carjacking group killed Mendiola. The group’s leaders, the brothers Roger and Raymond Dominguez, have the strongest motives to do him harm because of his testimony about the Venson Evangelista murder case. The PNP-HPG (Highway Patrol Group) should first focus their probe against the remnants of this group,” Robredo said.
Robredo directed the PNP-HPG to immediately work on the arrest of the suspects in the death of Mendiola and two others. Mendiola was the prosecution's star witness against the Dominguez brothers in the murder of car dealer Venzon Evangelista.
Mendiola also known as “Bading,” was found dead, bound and gagged together with two other men, one of whom was identified as a certain Mark Miranda, in Sta. Lucia proper, Barangay Salawag, Dasmarinas City,at about 6 a.m. last Sunday.
Formerly an accused in the Evangelista murder case, Mendiola later turned state witness and was placed under the Department of Justice’s Witness Protection Program under the custody of the uezon City Police District.
Last year, Mendiola's request of being tranferred to by the DoJ to the Malolos City provincial jail was granted. He escaped death after unidentified men lobbed a grenade inside his detention cell in the city also last year.
Robredo also ordered police probers to conduct a deeper background check on the other victims, who like Mendiola, were gagged with masking tape and their hands bound with black cable ties.The three victims separately unned down with a .45-caliber pistol.
“The PNP-HPG should determine the relationship of Mendiola to the twoother dead persons found beside him. The two unidentified victimscould give the investigators the additional leads they need to bolsterand resolve their case,” said the DILG chief.
Also, Robredo advised other witnesses in the cases against the Dominguez brothers to take extra precaution and seek for police protection if needed.
Reports said police were also digging into the possible links of the Dominguez brothers with the killing of a certain Cristina Roxas last January. Roxas, a gas station owner, filed criminal charges against Raymund Dominguez for the theft of her sport utility vehicle. She was gunned down on board a jeepney in Malolos, Bulacan after testifying in a city court against Dominguez
Dominguez was convicted last April 16 of car theft by the Malolos City Regional Trial Court. He was sentenced of up to 30 years in prison. He is now at the New Bilibid Prison’s maximum security area.
His brother Roger, who is under detention at the Quezon City Jail, was earlier arrested for traffic violation and detained in connection with the allegedly related deaths of car traders Evangelista and Emerson Lozano. Evangelista’s body was found in Nueva Ecija while Lozano’s remains were retrieved in Tarlac, Tarlac in January 2011.