Ecija bgy chief’s murder solved within 27 hours

CABANATUAN CITY -- Less than 27 hours after his cold-blooded murder last Tuesday, police have solved the killing of 54-year-old Bgy. Captain Beato Pascua in Palayan City following the arrest of the alleged gunman in his hideout here before lunch Wednesday.

Provincial police head Col. Leon Victor Z. Rosete identified the arrested suspect as Carlito Reyes, 35, alias Jon-jon, construction worker, of Bgy. Pula, Talavera.

Police tagged him as an alleged member of a gun-for-hire group operating in Nueva Ecija and nearby provinces.

Rosete said Pascua’s killing was solved with the arrest of Reyes in Camella Homes in Bgy. Valle Cruz at 11:45 a.m. last Wednesday. Pascua was killed inside his house in Bgy. Ganaderia at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

He said the suspect’s arrest was a product of an intelligence-driven follow-up operation conducted by his men in nearby Sta. Rosa town last Tuesday night and the positive identification of the suspect by witnesses through the Palayan City police rogue gallery.

The police official said probers got a breakthrough in the case when the suspect returned to the crime scene after he allegedly surfaced in Bgy. Ganaderia and inquired if Reyes was already dead, thereby alerting members of the local police led by Lt. Col. Armando F. Muena.

Rosete said this supposed blunder by the suspect prompted local residents to tip off authorities of his presence in the area.

Using this lead, he said members of the Provincial Intelligence Branch and the Special Operations Unit of NEPPO then traced his whereabouts leading to his capture in Bgy. Valle Cruz.

At this juncture, Rosete, however, said that it is still premature to categorically state that politics was the motive behind Pascua’s murder.

He said they are still investigating all possible angles in the case, including the identities of the mastermind or the contractor, who hired the killers, and the recovery of the gun used in the killing.