Tempo - - Front Page - By MARTIN SADONGDONG

Po­lice re­cov­ered from a sep­tic tank in Ca­marines Sur a dis­as­sem­bled .45-cal­iber pis­tol be­lieved to have been used in the killing of Ako Bi­col partylist rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rodel Ba­to­cabe and his se­cu­rity es­cort last Dec. 22.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Ar­nel Es­cobal, di­rec­tor of Bi­col Re­gional Po­lice Of­fice (PRO-5), said the pis­tol was found in­side a sep­tic tank lo­cated near the house of Em­manuel Rosello alias “Boboy,” one of the driv­ers of the get­away mo­tor­cy­cles used by the sus­pects, in Zone 5, Barangay Santo Nino, Pili, Ca­marines Sur.

The gun parts were dis­cov­ered around 3:30 p.m. Thurs­day, Jan­uary 10.

Es­cobal said among the parts re­cov­ered were the gun’s bar­rel, slide, sta­bi­lizer, two mag­a­zines, bar­rel bush­ing, slide lock, sta­bi­lizer guide, three fired car­tridge cases, and 34 live am­mu­ni­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Es­cobal, the pis­tol was used by Rolando Ari­mando alias “RR” who served as a look­out and back-up gun­man in the killing of Ba­to­cabe and SPO2 Or­lando Diaz, his se­cu­rity es­cort, dur­ing a gift-giv­ing ac­tiv­ity in Daraga, Al­bay. Six oth­ers were wounded in the at­tack.

Ari­mando al­legedly gave the pis­tol to Rosello for dis­posal after the hit job, which the lat­ter then threw into a sep­tic tank near their house.

“As per rev­e­la­tion, the gun was used by Ari­mando. It was given to Boboy,” Es­cobal said.

Rosello was ar­rested in Daraga, Al­bay on Jan. 3 but it was only re­cently that he con­fessed to po­lice that he dis­posed the pis­tol, prompt­ing the Bi­col po­lice and the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion and De­tec­tion Group (CIDG) to search for the gun.

Es­cobal said Rosello made the con­fes­sion may be­cause of the sur­ren­der of the other mem­bers of the hit squad.

The re­cov­ered gun parts were sub­jected to lab­o­ra­tory ex­am­i­na­tions to de­ter­mine if it would match the re­cov­ered cal­iber .45 bul­let shells in the crime scene, Es­cobal said.

Ear­lier, PNP chief Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Os­car Al­bay­alde re­vealed that some of the bul­let shells found in the crime scene matched the li­censed gun used by Henry Yu­son, the main gun­man, ac­cord­ing to the re­sults of the bal­lis­tic ex­am­i­na­tion.

Yu­son, along with the other mem­bers of the six-men hit squad who ei­ther sur­ren­dered to or were ar­rested by the po­lice, all pointed to Daraga town Mayor Carl­wyn Baldo as the mas­ter­mind in the as­sas­si­na­tion plan.

“We are con­fi­dent that Yu­son and the other sus­pects are telling the truth. This will fur­ther boost our case against them,” Al­bay­alde said.

How­ever, Mayor Baldo ve­he­mently de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tion.

Dou­ble mur­der and mul­ti­ple frus­trated mur­der charges were filed against the seven sus­pects.

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