Van of slain witness vs Dominguez found

Posted at 05/08/12 7:03 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The vehicle rented by slain Alfred Mendiola, a witness in the Evangelista kidnap-slay case, and 2 others was found by authorities in Parañaque City Tuesday morning.

A cross reference of the license plates revealed that the abandoned Toyota Grandia van along the service road of Roxas Blvd. was the vehicle rented by Mendiola’s group before they were found dead in Dasmariñas, Cavite last Sunday morning.

Witnesses said the vehicle had been parked along the service road as early as Sunday afternoon but nobody bothered to check it believing that it belonged to one of the proprietors in the shops lining the highway.

Barangay officials became increasingly suspicious and finally looked inside the vehicle's windows on Tuesday morning.

Inside the van, they found packaging tapes, plastic tie wraps, and a bullet from a caliber .45 pistol.

Police were finally called to the scene to open the vehicle and process the items inside. The Philippine National Police said this will be of great help in the ongoing investigation.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), meanwhile, has taken the initiative to lead the investigation on the killing of Mendiola, Eriberto Jumaquio and Mark Angelo Heredia.

Mendiola, using the aliases “Allan Torres” and “Bading,” is one of the members of the Dominguez carnapping group.

Region 4A CIDG chief Senior Supt. Bernabe Balba said they are looking into Mendiola’s testimony against brothers Raymond and Roger Dominguez as one of the possible motives in the killing. -- With a report from Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News