By Rolando O. Borrinaga, Joey A. Gabieta
First Posted 18:31:00 06/09/2008
NAVAL, Biliran — The father of Biliran Representative Glenn Chong on Monday filed murder charges before the provincial prosecutor’s office here against a policeman allegedly involved in the Saturday night attack on their home in which two security escorts were killed.
Chong’s father, Charles, claimed Senior Police Officer 2 Renato B. Saul was among the four men who attacked him, killing two security escorts and wounding another.
“Saul, who was standing just a few meters away from me, poked his Armalite at me and was ready to shoot me,” the 63-year-old Charles, who survived the attack unscathed, said Monday in a phone interview.
But in an interview with reporters, Saul denied taking part in the crime and even expressed shock over the assault. He said he was at home with his family when the congressman’s father was attacked.
Alberto Parilla, a former village chief of Rosario, Naval, was shot in the abdomen and the back, while Antonio Barcelo, a cousin-in-law, was hit at the back. Both were declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
Wounded was Jose Casas, a retired policeman, who was shot in the kneecap and was brought to a private hospital in Tacloban City, more than 100 kilometers away from Naval.
Joey Ignacio, the security guard who shielded Chong during the assault, alleged that Saul was wearing the same shorts he supposedly had on during the incident but had changed his T-shirt when presented to Chong by Biliran police director, Senior Superintendent Alfredo Sabornido.
Representative Chong claimed the attack was politically motivated but Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas Victor Domingo asked the solon to refrain from making accusations this early.
“Unless he has incontrovertible evidence, I appeal to Representative Chong not to make any accusation. Let the authorities finish their work,” Domingo said.
Domingo said he had asked help from the region’s police director, Chief Superintendent Abner Cabalquinto, to look into the case.
Cabalquinto has formed a task force headed by Senior Superintendent Arcadio Lelis, his director for operations and former police director of Biliran, to conduct an investigation on the attack.
Meanwhile, Biliran’s police chief, Sabornido, declined to comment on the statement of Representative Chong that the Biliran police director should be held accountable for the series of harassments against his family and supporters.
The younger Chong said he had been receiving threats through his cellphone, including one saying “your misery has already begun” and sent four hours before the shooting incident, another sent when the shooting happened, and a third one after the attack.
He vowed to work for the relief of Sabornido as Biliran police director.
His father supported his claim.
“I was their target. They know that I [was] the financier of my son when he ran for congressman and I have clout here in Naval,” the elder Chong, whose family operates several businesses in the province, said on Monday.
Marlon Mecaral, contributor