May 09 - June 05, 2005
TOP NEWS

Chua family files charges vs cops for alleged cover up

Pagdilao
P/Supt. Joel D. Pagdilao

Photo courtesy of PNP Laoag

The family of slain Laoag City Vice Mayor Jimmy O. Chua filed an administrative complaint against former Laoag City chief of police P/Supt. Joel D. Pagdilao, P/Insp. Teddy Rosqueta and SPO3 Arthur Mateo for falsification of public document, dishonesty, neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

The administrative charge was filed on May 26 at the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and was based on the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) findings on March 4, 2004 that contrary to the official investigation report submitted by Pagdilao, Rosqueta and Mateo to the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (INPPO), the late vice mayor was “actually killed inside the Eagle’s Nest Bar and Restaurant.”

The NBI found the theory of the three police officers that “hooded motorcycle riding gun-for-hire malefactors shot the vice mayor as he was leaving the restaurant” is not supported by physical evidence found in the crime scene.

Rosqueta
P/Insp. Teddy Rosqueta

Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN Laoag

In the confirmatory investigation conducted by the NBI, they further discovered that the said police officers “destroyed and concealed effects of the crime in order to support their version of Chua’s killing and shield Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas from any responsibility in the killing.”

The NBI’s principal suspect is Fariñas as a result of the confession made by Laoag City Councilor Modesto Melvin M. dela Cuesta.

In his confession before the NBI, Dela Cuesta said Fariñas shot Chua in front of him and Pagdilao while they were inside the Eagle’s Nest Bar and Restaurant on February 2, 2005, or just hours after the kick-off ceremonies of the Laoag City fiesta.

Dela Cuesta’s confession, according to the NBI, jibes with the physical evidence and confirms that Pagdilao “concocted the cover-up story, altered the crime scene to conform to the cover-up scenario, and manufactured the evidence to make it appear that a gun-for-hire killed Chua and not Fariñas.”

Mateo
SPO3 Arthur Mateo

Photo courtesy of PNP Laoag

Rosqueta and Mateo are being charged for their participation in the cover-up by “propagating the erroneous gun-for-hire story in the killing of Chua by means of the investigation reports they submitted in the case.

Rosqueta was the Laoag City Philippine National Police’s (PNP) deputy chief while Mateo was chief of the investigation section during the time the vice mayor was gunned down.

The three police officers face potential dismissal from the service, with forfeiture of all benefits and privileges, if they are found guilty of the charges filed against them.

The administrative charge was filed at the Napolcom since this is the government agency tasked to investigate, decide and review administrative charges filed against members of the PNP under Executive Order 292.

Pagdilao is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class of 1984 and was assigned as the city’s police chief in July 2003 until he was ordered relieved by former Region I PNP Director Claudio C. Cabreros on February 21, 2005. Pagdilao’s mother is the incumbent Mayor Anunciacion D. Pagdilao of Pinili, Ilocos Norte, while his father was the former Pinili Mayor and retired military Col. Samuel Pagdilao Sr.

Informed sources revealed that the administrative charge, though filed at the Napolcom San Fernando City, La Union office, was given directly to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Angelo Reyes. The DILG has administrative control over the Napolcom and Reyes himself would have the final say on the matter.

The source also said that PO3 Jonathan Pasamonte, the police officer who brought Chua’s body to the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital, will also be charged with an administrative complaint also at the Napolcom for his alleged participation in the cover-up.

The Ilocos Times tried to get the side of Rosqueta and Mateo, who were both transferred to the INPPO’s 2nd Provincial Mobile Group (PMG). The two police officers refused to comment. Pagdilao was unavailable as of press time.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) preliminary investigation on Chua’s killing continued on June 3.

There were no surprises during the said hearing though as the respondents in the case merely reaffirmed their sworn statements.

Affirming their sworn statements during the said hearing were Rosqueta, Mateo, the Caltex station employees and the Eagle’s Nest employees.

Pagdilao and Fariñas had been expected to show up to reaffirm their own sworn statements but the two did not show up. However, Laoag City Councilor Edison O. Chua, brother of the slain mayor, said he chanced upon the two at a mall near the DOJ office in Ermita, Manila.

Dela Cuesta and his lawyer, Atty. Marlene Damasen, also did not show up.

Michael T. Esmino (With reports from Dominic B. dela Cruz and Stephen T. Barreiro)

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