Be patient, Duterte asks King family

By Apple Ta-as, Carine M. Asutilla, Chito O. Aragon, Inquirer |June 22,2014 - 10:42 AM

A digital composite sketch of the gunman produced by the Davao City Police Office.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the murder of Cebu businessman Richard King will be solved but asked his family and the public to give the authorities time to identify and catch the perpetrators.

“We will solve the case, that is for sure. But we have to wait a little more,” said Duterte at a peace and order council meeting  in Davao last Thursday.

He gave no deadline for the police to accomplish this.

No suspects have been arrested yet  despite a P1.3-million reward offered by the family and the mayor for information leading to the perpetrators of the June 12 murder in Davao city.

Senior Supt. Vicente Danao Jr., Davao City police chief, said they don’t have any suspect yet.

“The person we invited for questioning doesn’t have anything that can lead to the suspect in the case,” he said.

“We are in the process of interrogating and inviting other persons of interest who are most probably involved in the incident,” Danao said.

In Cebu City, King’s murder was one of the high-profile  cases discussed in a case conference by PNP Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas  in  Camp Sergio Osmeña.

The conference was attended by police officials in  Central and Western Visayas and Davao City.

Rojas confirmed that President Benigno Aquino III ordered the PNP to solve major cases that have occurred in the past two weeks.

A facial composite of the gunman was released last week by the Davao police .

“Behind that gunman there is a mastermind.  Yun ang tinitingnan natin,” Rojas said.

The PNP deputy chief ruled out the New People’s Army (NPA) as having a role in the murder.

Rojas said the violence was either business-releated or due to a personal conflict.

“We are satisfied with the movement of the investigation,” said Edward Tan, head of marketing and communications of J. King and Sons Co. Inc. when reached for comment.

Tan said there are developments in the case that cannot be disclosed yet to avoid compromising the investigation.

The 56-year-old King, who owned the Crown Regency Group of Hotels and health products company Vital-C, was shot at close range by an assailant who crashed a  gathering of his distributors inside Vital-C’s building in Davao City last June 12.

Mayor Duterte dismissed rumors that the victim was involved in the illegal drug trade.

Danao, the police chief of Davao,  refused to disclose what leads investigators were pursuing.

The public must trust the local police’s capabilities in solving cases, Duterte said, citing the killing of  Davao businessman Ramon Teodoro Garcia, owner of Nanay Bebeng’s restaurant, whose body was found in a ravine in Malalag, Davao del Sur, last June 6. Hours after the body was found, police arrested 27-year-old Daisy Joy Cachapera and her boyfriend Ariel John Liawan in Sulop town, Davao del Sur.


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