Police Supt. Joel Limson, chief of the Tacurong City police force, identified the suspect as Imelda Reyes, 55, former city treasurer here and resident of Barangay Grinio.
Limson said that Reyes was accused of masterminding the ambush of the employees of the City Treasurer’s Office here along the highway in Buluan, Maguindanao in 2003. Two of the employees died on the spot.
The staff were on their way to an excursion in Davao City when ambushed.
At first, Reyes’s name did not surface when a case of robbery with homicide was filed against a number of people, according to Supt. Roberto Badian of the Police Regional Office No. 12 who is handling the case.
The case was dismissed in court for lack of evidence, said Badian.
But early this year, one of the suspects accused in the case executed an extra-judicial confession.
The suspect-turned-witness told investigators that it was Reyes that paid huge sums of money to a group of people to execute the ambush in 2003, said Badian.
One of the motives for the killing could be work-related, said the investigators.
Reyes’s cohorts, according to Limson, are still at large.
“We have already conducted massive manhunt against them after we received copies of the warrants for their arrests,” said Limson.
Reyes is facing a double murder case and her warrant of arrest was issued by Judge Sahara Silongan, of the Regional Trial Court Branch 15 based in Cotabato City, last Nov. 17.
Reyes was already committed to the Maguindanao Provincial Jail at the PC Hill in Cotabato City.
“At first she resisted arrest but we were just doing our job. After the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the ARMM handed to us the documents, we immediately effected the arrest,” Limson explained.