THE Cebu City police on Wednesday questioned two security guards in relation to the fatal robbery of an accountant near a construction site at the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City last Saturday.
The security guards were eventually released after the police found no concrete evidence linking them to the killing of Jennelyn Aquino.
Aquino was the 25-year-old accountant of Visayas Construction (Viscon) who was fatally shot by one of four men when she resisted the robbery.
One of the four suspects, security guard Archie Ando, was arrested last Tuesday morning at his workplace at the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) 3 in Lapu-Lapu City.
Ando admitted being the driver of the motorcycle used as a getaway vehicle in the crime.
It was through the motorcycle’s plate number that police were able to trace Ando, a resident of Barangay Lawaan Uno, Talisay City.
A .45 caliber pistol and a KG-9 machine pistol were among those items seized from Ando’s house.
“In our interrogation to identify his possible cohorts, the two security guards were among those mentioned by Ando. That’s why we brought them to police station. But in our follow-up investigation, we found no solid proof that they were involved,” said Senior Insp. Ryan Devaras, chief of the Investigation and Detection Management Branch of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
Ando, 36, and the two security guards are all from the Next Generation Security Agency.
Ando was assigned at MEPZ 3, while the two others were deployed at Viscon’s ongoing construction of a recreation park at SRP.
Devaras withheld the names of the two security guards pending further investigation.
“We will closely monitor them as soon as we could gather enough evidence proving that they were involved. We will file cases against them,” said Devaras.
A case of robbery with homicide may be filed against Ando today, Devaras said.
Ando had identified his stepson Guillo Salinas Estudillo as the alleged gunman, while he named his younger brother Ariel as the one who allegedly masterminded the robbery. The other culprit is reportedly a cousin of Ando, police said.
Ariel, according to Ando, worked as an inspector of Next Generation Security Agency.
Although the case was considered solved with Ando’s arrest and the identification of other suspects, Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, the director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), instructed the CCPO to deepen their investigation.
“The other suspects are still at large and we want to know if there are other personalities involved,” said Taliño.
The police will also check possible liabilities of the security agency.
“Although what happened were individual actions of the suspects, we will check if the suspects were licensed security guards. If they were employed even if they didn’t have licenses, the permit of the security agency should be canceled,” Taliño said.
A background check on the suspects will also be made to determine if they have been involved in previous crimes.
“It is alarming that instead of preventing crimes, some security guards are the ones committing crimes,” the PRO-7 chief said.
Aside from hunting down the remaining suspects, police are also looking to recover the stolen money.
The victim had just withdrawn P700,000 in payroll money from a bank inside a mall at SRP when the robbers struck. Cash amounting to P474,000 was taken during the robbery.