Suspects in Venson case to face criminal raps

Posted at 01/23/2011 1:00 PM | Updated as of 01/24/2011 7:37 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The 2 suspects who recently confessed to their involvement in the brutal slay of car dealer Venson Evangelista face murder and carjacking charges after a marathon inquest proceeding Saturday night.

Prosecutors are pushing for the filing of the charges against Alfred Mendiola (a.k.a. Allan Torres) and Ferdinand "Batibot" Parulan following statements from witnesses and a testimony from one of the suspect himself.

The information may be filed on Monday.

Police earlier said that the 2 suspects also pointed to brothers Roger and Raymond Dominguez as masterminds in the kidnapping and killing of Evangelista.

Evagelista, 30, was last seen alive on January 13. A day later, his body was found in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, with a deep wound in the nape and his face covered with packaging tape.

His body was also burned and dumped near an irrigation canal in Purok 1 in Buliran.

Mendiola's testimony

In a sworn statement, Mendiola confirmed police reports that he was the transvestite who disguised as the prospective buyer of Evangelista's Toyota Land Cruiser last January 13.

He tagged a certain "Joel", who disguised himself as a mechanic, and went to the victim's car shop in Cubao, Quezon City.

After offering P3.4 million for the car, Mendiola and Joel had convinced Evangelista to conduct a test drive. Evangelista drove the Land Cruiser.

Along the highway, several more suspects emerged from a green Pajero that had been tailing the Land Cruiser. There, Mendiola said the group finally declared their plan and wrestled the control of the vehicle away from Evangelista.

After reaching Mabalacat, Pampanga, Mendiola was asked to buy 2 tires and a gallon of gasoline. Before he left, he saw Evangelista’s face and mouth covered with packaging tape.

He said he did not know what happened next, until he learned that Evangelista had been killed later that day.

Link to Dominguez brothers

The Dominguez brothers were earlier identified by the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group as the leaders of 1 of 3 major carjacking syndicates operating in Central Luzon.

Raymond, who is facing separate 19 counts of car theft and robbery, voluntarily turned himself over to the Bulacan Provincial Police also last night.

In a TV Patrol interview, Raymond denied links to both Mendiola or Parulan. He said the police are just dragging his name to the case.

Nevertheless, he had said he and his brother will cooperate with the police to find the real culprits.

Meanwhile, Central Luzon police director Alan Purisima belied statements that Mendiola and Parulan are just fall guys. He said the police had done an intensive intelligence work against the 2.

Mendiola also reportedly provided information on the alleged safe houses of the Dominguezes: an apartment and another house in San Jose, Pampanga.

Recovered from the raid done there were Evangelista's half-burnt license; 2 vehicles, one of which is believed to have been used as a backup vehicle in the car dealer's kidnapping; 3 pistols, including the gun possibly used in the killing; 22 license plates; and several car keys, metal plates and a wig.