DOJ to wrap up probe on prosecutor’s slay this month

Published March 14, 2019, 1:12 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Jeffrey Damicog

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to wrap up within the month its preliminary investigation on the criminal complaint against three policemen tagged in the killing of Quezon City Deputy Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco.

Co-workers and prosecutors gathered in front of Department of Justice in Quezon City today, May 15, 2018 calls for justice and supports to Deputy Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco, who was gun shot and killed last May 11, 2018 in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City. (Kevin Tristan Espiritu)
All dressed in black, prosecutors and co-workers of slain Quezon City deputy prosecutor Rogelio Velasco gathered in front of the Quezon City Hall of Justice, Tuesday to condemn the killing of their colleague whose gunmen remain unidentified. (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong has scheduled on March 25 the viewing of the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage being used as evidence against the suspects.

“Mag-discuss ang NBI ng CCTV in detail (The National Bureau of Investigation will discuss in detail the CCTV footage it submitted as evidence),” said the victim’s daughter, Dr. Victoria Velasco.

“After nun kasi last na po yun, submitted na siya for resolution (That’s the last hearing and the case will be submitted for resolution),” she said.

In the complaint filed by Velasco’s family and the NBI, the three police suspects – SPO2 Rodante Sicat Lalimarmo, PO3 Arthur Yasonio Lucy, and PO1 Jose Lunar – were accused of murder.

The prosecutor died in an ambush on May 11, 2018 in front of the Persian Kitchen in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City.

A white Toyota Innova with plate number XNR 256 blocked the path of Velasco’s vehicle and four armed men got out and fired at him.

NBI investigators said they were able to identify the suspects with the help of witnesses as well as footage of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at the crime scene and at the Quezon City Memorial Circle which was used by the suspects as a staging area.

In his counter-affidavit, Lalimarmo pointed out he does not know his other two co-respondents and he was not in Barangay Holy Spirit when the crime took place. His co-respondents also made the same claims.

“On May 11, 2018, respondent SPO2 Rodante S. Lalimarmo went inside the Quezon City Circle for the purpose of selling his Toyota Fortuner to a certain Manny Rivera,” he stated.

Lalirmarmo added he “told Manny Rivera that he also wanted to see how his Toyota Innova runs so they boarded the said Toyota Innova to test drive it.”

Lalimarmo also said that he was “with Felimon Rodriguez Vlardo in LTO Novaliches for their buy and sell transaction, involving respondent’s Nissan Urvan.”

For his part, Mercado said he was assigned to the 1st Quezon Provincial Mobile Force Company in Quezon province and was on duty when the crime took place.

Lucy said that he was also on duty at the Batasan Police Station of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) during the ambush.