LUCENA CITY — The National Bureau of Investigation has taken custody of three policemen who were held responsible for the killing of the son of Mayor Marcelo Gayeta of Sariaya town, Quezon province, and his companion in an alleged shootout on March 14 in Tayabas City.
Lt. Col. Mark Joseph Laygo, Cpl. Lonald Sumalpong and Pat. Robert Legaspi were held at the Camp Soledad Dolor holding center in Candelaria town after their arrest by the NBI on Monday night.
They were later brought to the NBI office here.
The police officers surrendered to Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) police director, on March 22 after Gayeta challenged the police version of the March 14 gunfight that led to the death of his son, Christian, and Christopher Manalo.
Police said they sent a team following complaints that motorcycle riders fired at a gas station in Tayabas without any provocation.
The riders, later identified as the young Gayeta and Manalo, were killed after they allegedly exchanged gunfire with the policemen.
But according to the NBI investigation, which was requested by the Gayeta family, the victims were deliberately killed. The NBI had obtained the testimonies of four other policemen who were involved in the supposed shootout.
Laygo, Sumalpong and Legaspi denied the accusations and insisted that the Tayabas incident was a legitimate police operation. Laygo was the former Tayabas police chief.
Gayeta had asked for the resignation of PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, and Carranza for their failure to bring justice to the victims. —Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
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