Police dismiss reports linking NorthCot pol’s brothers to murder

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 21 Nov) – Police brushed aside reports that linked the two brothers of Rep. Nancy Catamco (Cotabato, 2nd Dist.) on the recent killing of her staff.

Supt. Renante Cabico, city police director, said they have no concrete evidences linking Nelson and Ronald Catamco, both younger brothers of the congresswoman, to the murder on Nov. 1 of Jose Duerme Labrador.

The names of the Catamco brothers came out after several text messages, allegedly coming from the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) Guerilla Front 53, identified them as the masterminds in the Labrador killing.

One of the text messages said that the NPA Front 53 has already ordered a death penalty on the Catamco brothers for the murder.

But Lea, wife of the slain victim, doubted the messages came from the rebels.

In a radio interview, she said the alleged NPA warning was just a “diversionary tactic.”

“This is not the first time that those behind the killing of my husband have made dirty tactics in order to divert the attention of the police. First, they said politics was behind the killing; second, they claimed my husband was into drug trading. All these tactics were proven to be false,” said Lea.

Lea, when asked, was certain who masterminded the killing of her husband.

“I have reasons to doubt the NPA warnings because I am certain who might have done the killing. It’s more of a personal grudge,” she stressed.

The police, however, have yet to gather more evidences so that appropriate charges would be filed against the mastermind and the gunmen.

“What we have gathered, so far, were all circumstantial. Before we file the case, we want to make sure the facts we have are realistic and convincing to the prosecutor. This is like a puzzle that we have to crack or untangle,” said Cabico.

Labrador was sitting outside his house along Quezon Boulevard here when two riding-in-tandem suspects fired shots on his head and chest.

Labrador died on the spot.

The police already has a cartographic sketch of the gunman. Cabico, however, said the sketch was unclear since the gunman wore helmet when he did the killing.

The city government has already given cash reward of P50,000 to those who could identify the gunman and the mastermind in the Labrador murder. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)