Justice Secretary Leila de Lima will form a panel that will look into the previous cases filed against members of the Dominguez carnapping syndicate, suspects in the killing of a car dealer whose charred body was found in Central Luzon.
The all-female team—Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Lilian Doris Alejo, Assistant State Prosecutor Vilma Lopez Sarmiento, and Prosecution Attorney Mary Jane Sypap—will determine whether law enforcers had connived with the suspected car thieves, De Lima said.
De Lima, however, has yet to issue the department order formally forming the special team as of posting time.
Asked by reporters why all the members are female, De Lima said: "I told Prosecutor General [Claro Arellano] I want a panel that is efficient and hardworking, but also fearless."
The creation of the panel came in light of the gruesome killings of car dealers Venson Evangelista, Emerson Lozano, and Lozano's driver Ernani Sencil allegedly by members of the Dominguez group.
The group’s alleged leader, Raymond Dominguez, is currently in police custody after he turned himself in last Saturday reportedly to seek protection. He and his brother Roger allegedly masterminded the killing of Evangelista.
This page requires a higher version browser Lozano-Sencil slays
But according to another suspect in the case, Alfred Mendoza, the Dominguez group was not only involved in the Evangelista killing, but in the Lozano-Sencil murders as well.
In an exclusive interview with GMA News aired over “24 Oras" Thursday, Mendoza said Lozano and Sencil were killed after members of the syndicate thought Lozano was trying to pull a gun while they were abducting him on Jan. 12.
He said Lozano and Sencil joined the suspects for a test drive when they posed as buyers of Lozano’s Kia Carnival.
“Nakahalata si Mister Emerson Lozano na ka-karnapin yung sasakyan, nakahalata sila na parang bubunot … ewan ko kung anong bubunitin ni Emerson Lozano … so inunahan, binaril si Emerson Lozano sa ulo," Mendoza said.
(They thought Emerson Lozano was about to draw a gun when he noticed what was going on, so they shot him in the head.)
He said the Dominguez group went to Lozano after Evangelista, on that same day, did not allow them to road test a luxury vehicle that he was selling.
“Hindi nila napilit si Venson Evangelista na ipa-road test yung sasakyan, napilitan sila sa other option, which is yung Kia Carnival na nakita nila sa Internet at dyaryo," Mendoza said.
(When they failed to convince Venson Evangelista to allow them to road test a vehicle he was selling, they proceeded to the next option, which is the Kia Carnival that they saw being advertised on the Internet and newspapers.)
De Lima had earlier said that carnapping would not have grown as a criminal activity "without the collusion or conspiracy" of law enforcers from the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation.
She added that even government prosecutors who handled the carnapping cases against Dominguez will be subject to investigation. She also questioned why Dominguez was allowed to post bail 19 times after being linked to car theft cases.
On Thursday, De Lima said that the panel will review cases dismissed and approved by prosecutors to determine whether there are bases for their decisions.
"If [the dismissal is] improper, [the panel is tasked] to determine the possible culpability of those involved in the improper dismissal or improper release of the respondents or the suspects," she told reporters.
"So the determination of possible culpability will cover investigators involved or the fiscals involved. So that is the focus of that panel," she added. She said that the DILG reported to her that a carnapping case "was dismissed questionably" by a government prosecutor whom she did not name.
"I want that validated—if there is really a case like that, if that was really dismissed. And if dismissed, whether there is basis," she said. – KBK, GMANews.TV
Reposted From GMA News.TV