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Police nab 5 of 6 suspects in Mendoza slay

Sundy Locus

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The suspects in the killing of former Batangas congressman Edgar Mendoza Sr. and his two aides are presented to the media by CIDG-PNP personnel. (Analy Labor)

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group on Thursday already has in its custody five of the six suspects in the killing of former Batangas congressman Edgar Mendoza Sr.

Mendoza’s charred remains were found inside a burnt car at the boundary of Barangays San Juan and San Francisco in Tiaong, Quezon, on 9 January.

Also inside the car parked on a bridge were two other bodies later identified as those of Nicanor Mendoza and Ruel Ruiz, Mendoza’s driver and bodyguard, respectively.

The suspects were identified as Kristine Fernandez, Madonna Palermo, Carlo Acuña, Maria Roselle Fajardo (a.k.a Jael Fajardo) and Erickson Balbastro.

A sixth suspect, Rodel Mercado, remains at large.

Investigation revealed that at around 1:03 p.m. of 8 January, the victims went to the house of Fajardo inside Villa La Prinza Subdivision in Calamba City for an alleged “payoff.” They were rendered unconscious after Fernandez and Palermo put sleeping pills on their coffee.

Their transaction allegedly stemmed from the unfulfilled promise of Mendoza, a lawyer, regarding the murder case of a certain Sherwin Sanchez who is currently detained at National Bilibid Prison and other financial matters.

Acuña fetched Balbastro and Mercado from a convenience store in Lawa, Calamba City and they proceeded to Fajardo’s house.

Balbastro and Mercado carried the unconscious victims in their vehicle, where they were stabbed to death and subsequently transported to San Juan, Batangas.

At about 10 p.m. following the order of Sanchez, the suspects burned the Honda Civic where the already dead victims were.

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