HPG cop in motorist’s slay found dead in Camp Crame

Inquirer.net August 28,2016 - 11:12 AM
Highway Patrol Group personnel PO3 Jeremiah De Villa and PO2 Jonjie Manon-og at the Department of Justice in Manila to file their counteraffidavits. Both are facing charges for the murder of motorcycle rider John Dela Riarte. De Villa was found dead in Camp Crame yesterday morning.

Highway Patrol Group personnel PO3 Jeremiah De Villa and PO2 Jonjie Manon-og at the Department of Justice in Manila to file their counteraffidavits. Both are facing charges for the murder of motorcycle rider John Dela Riarte. De Villa was found dead in Camp Crame yesterday morning.

ONE of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) personnel accused in the killing of a motorcycle rider they had apprehended died in an alleged suicide yesterday at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Quezon City, according to radio reports.

HPG chief Senior Supt. Antonio Gardiola Jr. said over radio dzMM that PO3 Jeremiah De Villa’s body was found on the grounds of the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) building in Camp Crame near the HPG building past 9 a.m. yesterday.

Gardiola said De Villa was rushed to the PNP General Hospital but was pronounced dead.

Gardiola said witnesses saw De Villa go to the rooftop of the PSPG building, but added that footages from CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras have yet to be reviewed to verify if he fell to his death.

The HPG chief said De Villa, who was under restrictive custody in Camp Crame, seemed out of his usual self in the past days, adding that the latter’s mother died recently. De Villa and PO2 Jonjie Manon-og accosted motorcycle rider John Dela Riarte last July 29 after the latter figured in an altercation with another motorist in Makati City.

In their counter affidavits filed on Friday before the Department of Justice, the HPG personnel denied murdering, torturing and robbing Dela Riarte, saying that he attempted to snatch their firearm and kept on cursing and spewing invectives at them inside a patrol car going to Camp Crame.

“At that time, the only thing foremost in my mind was to maim and disable John Dela Riarte so that he could not be a danger to PO2 Jonjie Manon-og and to the public or other motorists as we were [on] EDSA and the cars were slow moving as it was traffic (sic),” De Villa said in his affidavit.

“In a split second, instinctively, I got my gun and while shouting ‘tumigil ka, tumigil ka (stop it, stop it)! turning half sideways to my right, I pulled the trigger of my gun to disable John B. Dela Riarte,” De Villa said, adding that “the incident happened so fast that I could feel panic rising to my throat when I realized he was bleeding.”

The National Bureau of Investigation said Dela Riarte died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, abdomen, and right thigh.

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TAGS: highway patrol group, HPG, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, PNP, Police Security and Protection Group, PSPG

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