By Lyka Manalo
LEMERY, Batangas — The family of a prominent businessman who was slain in this town last July is offering a P1-million reward for the arrest of the primary suspect in his murder, police said.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 5 in this town issued a warrant last August 29 for the arrest of Rickson Closa, the principal suspect in the murder of local businessman Orlando Martinez.
Court records show that on July 21, 2018 at 5:35 a.m., the 60-year-old businessman was riding his bike through town as his morning routine when he was shot dead by a gunman riding a sports utility vehicle (SUV) on the Palanas Bridge, here.
Chief Inspector Alfie Salang said police investigators had witnesses and closed-circuit television footage that identified the SUV and the suspect.
Mark John Martinez, 37, the victim’s eldest son, claimed that Closa’s failure to settle his debts was the suspect’s only motive in killing his father.
He said his father helped Closa establish a gasoline station and aided him financially in his other businesses a few months prior to the crime.
But the suspect came into financial ruin because of his cockfighting and, thus, unable to pay his debt to the victim which run up to P800,000, the younger Martinez said.