Suspect in the slay of ex-Mindoro exec, arrested, now closely guarded at jail
By JUANCHO R. MAHUSAY
CALAPAN CITY – Guards at a provincial jail in this city are now closely guarding one of the four suspects in the killing of the former Oriental Mindoro administrator here who was arrested last July 19 in Romblon province.
Even media people here are being prohibited by the jail guards to see the said suspect, who is identified only as Joel and with an alias of “Ka Juris,” reportedly a rebel returnee and a former New People’s Army (NPA) member.
According to some police sources, Ka Juris has been identified as the one who shot dead Samson Rivera, 56, a former provincial administrator of the Oriental Mindoro, last May 15 while the victim was parking his vehicle in front of a protestant church in Ramirez St., this city.
Rivera was with his wife Doris Melgar and a son when one of the four unidentified suspects fired at the victim pointblank in the morning of the said date. The victim even managed to grab an arm of one of his assailants but another shot ended Rivera, the suspects then hurriedly left the then crowded crime scene.
Accordingly, Ka Juris was arrested after an informant overheard him proudly telling friends in a drinking session about the number of killings the suspect did including Rivera’s assassination. The suspect was subsequently arrested by a joint operation of Romblon Philippine National Police and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
Meanwhile, a jail guard here, who requested anonymity, told some local newsmen that the provincial jail management temporarily does not allow the suspect to be interviewed or seen by the media because operations against the other suspects in the said killing are still ongoing. Authorities handling the case are also reportedly wanted to ensure the safety of witnesses by restricting access on it by other people.
The victim was the provincial administrator during the term of the late former Oriental Mindoro Governor Bart L. Marasigan, Sr. and also served as one of the campaign strategists of new Governor Alfonso V. Umali, Jr. Rivera’s case is also one of the demands by many political activists and the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP) to be given solution by the administration of President Bernigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.