Alleged "killer" of Ting nabbed

07/08/2010 - CEBU, Philippines - The alleged gunman in the murder of hotelier Manuel Ting last June 22 was collared late Monday afternoon outside a mall in Cebu City.

The suspect was identified as Ruel Lanit Velez, 44 years old, married and a resident of barangay OcaƱa, Carcar City. He was tagged by witnesses as the one who shot the businessman in barangay Tisa, Cebu City.

“Last July 5, at about 3 pm, the CCPO arrested Ruel Velez as one of the primary suspects based on two witnesses account or testimony,” Sr. Supt. Patrocinio Comendador, Director of Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said.

Comendador said that right after the incident, the suspect was positively identified by four witnesses, but they are yet to get the statements of the two others.

The police yesterday filed a murder case against Velez before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutor Alexander Acosta gave the accused 10 days to submit his counter-affidavit.

The CCPO’s copy of the complaint includes the sworn statements of five people, including a son of Manuel; the death certificate of the victim; and copies of the cartographic sketch, of computer-generated picture of Velez, of the spot report and of the letter request for autopsy addressed to the PNP Crime laboratory.

A son of Manuel told the police that he saw a man, he later identified as Velez, who appeared to be waiting for someone outside their residence in Banawa Guadalupe two weeks before his father was ambushed.

Comendador said that two days after the killing of Ting they had already identified Velez and tried to arrest him at his residence in Carcar City, but they did not reach him on time as he had left for Ozamis City.

The Task Force Ting then started making contacts with Velez, through a fellow policeman previously based in the said city, until the suspect finally returned to Cebu City around 2 p.m. last Monday.

The police arrested him an hour later.

“Perhaps because of the pressure we’re putting up, miari na siya sa Cebu City. Amo man siyang giingnan na bisan asa pa siya, amo g’yud siya pangitaon,” Comendador said.

Operatives of the Theft and Robbery Section and Investigation and Detective Management Branch led by Supt. Pablo Labra II made the arrest.

Velez denied any involvement in the incident.

Comendador said they are yet to identify the mastermind, but believe that the motive behind the killing is related to finances.

Velez is now detained at the stockade of CCPO awaiting preliminary investigation of the case.

A trisikad driver, who is one of the witnesses, said that he saw a man clad in a dark jacket and denims approach a Mercedes Benz, which was about to make a right turn to San Jose Village and fired at the driver.

The witness said that after shooting the driver of the car, who was later identified as Ting, the gunman walked towards a waiting motorcycle and fled.

The witness went to the Punta Princesa Police Station to describe the gunman and a cartographic sketch was made based on his account. (THE FREEMAN)

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