By Martin Sadongdong
A fugitive man accused of killing his own father was successfully repatriated by the Philippine National Police (PNP) after his recent arrest in United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country’s top cop bared today.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Nelson Bermejo Antonio, 49, was repatriated by joint PNP teams led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), and the Police attache to UAE. Antonio and the repatriation team returned to Manila around 11:30 a.m. yesterday after the suspect’s arrest on February 16.
According to Albayalde, Antonio had confessed before prosecutors in 2013 to the slay of his own father, businessman Antonio P. Antonio. The victim was shot at least six times on September 11, 2013 inside his house on Concha Cruz Drive, BF Executive Homes, Parañaque City.
According to PDEG director Albert Ignatius Ferro, it was in 2014 when the family of the slain businessman approached him when he was chief of the Major Crimes Investigation Unit of the CIDG (CIDG-MCIU) to ask for help for the immediate arrest of the victim’s eldest son.
Ferro said the suspect had surrendered to Parañaque police in 2013 where he confessed to the crime, but he was turned over to Las Piñas police.
One of the many theories the police have created during the entire investigation is that the father accused his son of being involved in a robbery inside their compound which led to a heated argument and the brutal killing. The house of the Antonios lie on the border of Las Piñas and Parañaque cities, police said.
However, prosecutors dismissed the case against Antonio “due to lack of jurisdiction” and he was later released. Consequently, a parricide charge was filed before the Parañaque Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 257 where Judge Rolando How issued a warrant of arrest against the younger Antonio for a nonbailable case. A manhunt was also conducted by cops.
It turned out that the suspect already left the country on December 28, 2013 bound for Singapore.
According to CIDG director Roel Obusan, another motive being eyed by the police is the partition of Antonio’s wealth.
Police investigation revealed that the elder Antonio has five families and prior to the incident, all the families have arranged a meeting to prepare the victim’s last will and testament.
One of the sons of Antonio accused the first family of conspiring to get the majority of wealth of Antonio. It has yet to be proven by police investigations.
In December 2017, an investigative news report of a local television program here in the Philippines aired the case of the slain Antonio.
Ferro said an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the Middle East recognized the suspect and immediately coordinated with the Philippine police attache to UAE for his arrest.
Ferro added the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) alerted the UAE police after he was issued an Interpol Red Notice, which serves like an international arrest warrant.
“Since January 2018, we have been coordinating with the UAE police and the police attache based in Saudi Arabia until February 16, 2018, he was arrested in UAE,” Ferro said.
Albayalde said Antonio will be presented to the RTC Branch 257 of Parañaque City for the procedural return of warrant upon completion of booking procedures and documentation.
The family of Antonio expressed gratitude to the PNP and the media in helping them capture their patriarch’s killer.
“It has been a long journey for the family to find Nelson. Without everybody’s help, we won’t find him. This is just the beginning. We hope that you will continue to help us. The search for justice for our father continues,” a step-sister of the suspect saidt.
Meanwhile, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, who is representing the families of the slain businessman appealed for Albayalde’s help to ensure that the parricide case against Nelson will not be dismissed for the second time.
“[Nelson’s] release previously has raised a lot of question marks for us. He managed to get out of prison, escape the country and even applied for an investment visa. Can you imagine how he did that considering he has a warrant of arrest for a nonbailable case? I know you will not tolerate this, chief PNP Albayalde,” Topacio said.