Ungab shooting: Woman “witness” surfaced for personal gain – Police
CEBU, Philippines — The 39-year-old woman claiming to be a witness to the ambush of Ronda Vice Mayor and lawyer Jonnah John Ungab is nothing but dud, due to her inconsistencies.
Senior Inspector Jonathan Taneo, chief of the Homicide Section and spokesperson of Task Force Ungab, said that the woman may have surfaced for personal gains.
However, the woman alleged that she only came forward to have her cellphone back.
“Gipare-enact nato kay medyo vague iya mga statements and gi-process nato unsa ka-vital iya information. Ang iya information gihatag tan-awon pa if vital kay naa man siya gitudlo, which is dapat dili ta pataka og tudlo. Subject pa nato for verification,” Taneo said.
Taneo said that, unlike the woman, the actual witness is consistent on his claims, though he still refused to subscribe to an affidavit for fear of his safety.
The woman, who hails from Cansojong, Talisay City refused to be identified and seen on camera, joined investigators last Thursday during the reenactment.
Based on her claims, she saw the Suzuki Kizashi sedan of the lawyer going inside the Qimonda IT Center at the North Reclamation Area when the attackers allegedly approached and shot the lawyer dead.
She said the gunman was wearing shorts and t-shirt and that she was able to video the shooting incident since she was taking selfies at that time.
When the assailants saw her, they reportedly stopped and carted away her cellphone, with the gunman signaling a “killing” hand gesture, before fleeing towards Mandaue City.
However, her claims are contrary to what transpired based on the footage from the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera recovered by police investigators.
In the video, the lawyer and his wife, Pearl, on board their car, were to turn left on S. Osmeña Boulevard from the Cebu City Palace of Justice, when the gunman approached the driver’s seat and shot the victim.
The lawyer succumbed to gunshot wound to his upper his temple and upper left jaw.
Almost a month after the incident last February 19, the police have obtained a cartographic sketch of a person of interest, which police did not disclose if it was the gunman or the spotter.
But in yesterday’s interview, Taneo confirmed that the person-of-interest that was supposed to be invited for questioning last March 5 was the person in the cartographic sketch. Police are also waiting for the results of the forensic examination done for the red sweatshirt, to check traces of gun residue to cross match with the evidence gathered at the crime scene.
The red sweatshirt, according to Pearl, is about 80 percent match with what the gunman was wearing.
However, it was not conclusive yet pending the results of the examination which will take two weeks upon submission.
Taneo said if it matches, then the other person of interest “may already be dead” since the red sweatshirt and .45 caliber firearm was found from the personal belonging of the suspect killed during a legitimate police operation last February 22.
Dante Betaganzo, an alleged gun-for hire and accused of killing a police officer in Bohol, was being served a warrant of arrest when he attempted to shoot it out with policemen, which later resulted to his death.
Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 Director Robert Quenery has directed investigators to keep up with the investigation no matter how many months it may drag on.
“Continue to investigate and pursue whatever leads they could find along the way. Solving a case would really take some time when there is an absence of evidences. It has to go through a very tedious process, and of course, doing this in haste would create loophole. Kailangan matiyaga and proper ang pagpursigi dito,” Quenery said. — GAN (FREEMAN)