A Criminal Investigation and Detection Group operative who is a relative of the suspected gunman of Ilog Councilor Antonio “Karem” Gequillana Jr. was relieved from his post in Negros Occidental Thursday and transferred to Iloilo.
Chief Insp. Ceasar Paday-os, CIDG Negros Occidental chief, yesterday said he relieved Police Officer 3 Arlan Depedro, who is relative of Gatoc by affinity, to erase doubts that he is derailing the investigation on the killing of Gequillana and to stop speculations that Gatoc is being given special treatment.
On Thursday, tension rose between Task Force Gequillana head Supt. Santiago Rapiz and Depedro, when the latter refused to handcuff Gatoc while at the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office for the filing of murder charges against him.
Police Regional Office-6 Director, Chief Supt. Cepriano Querol, who earlier lauded the policemen for the arrest of Gequillana’s suspected gunman, yesterday said that Gatoc should have been handcuffed as it is a standard operating procedure in handling suspects.
Paday-os, at a press conference at the CIDG office yesterday, presented the cellular phones of Gequillana and of Gatoc, which they will send to Camp Crame in Manila to check if they contain evidence that may be used in strengthening the case.
Meanwhile, Gatoc said he is planning to file charges against the policemen who arrested him Tuesday at his residence in Brgy. 1 in Kabankalan City, claiming that they threatened him with guns.
Rapiz noted that Gatoc was being inconsistent, as earlier he said he surrendered and was not arrested.
It is Gatoc’s right to filed charges if he wants to, Rapiz also said.
The police already have a lists of names of the possible mastermind or masterminds behind the killing of Gequillana, but cannot reveal them
There is more than one angle being eyed into the killing of Gequillana, Rapiz said, but refused to elaborate.
Gequillana, 42, of Brgy. Dancalan, Ilog and also a resident of Capitolville Subdivision in Brgy. Villamonte, was shot in the back five times in front of the East View Hotel in Bacolod City on July 27.
He died while being treated at the Bacolod Doctor’s Hospital.*APN