By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) assured that it will resolve the death of a lawyer and general manager of Northern Negros Electric Cooperative (Noneco), who was gunned down here on Dec. 21.
Police Colonel Thomas Joseph Martir, BCPO director, said that they will form a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to focus their probe on the death of Atty. Danny Pondevilla, 47, of Barangay Mansilingan here.
This, after the two persons of interest in the case tested negative for gunpowder residue during the paraffin test.
But paraffin tests are not always conclusive and are not admissible as proof in criminal cases.
Police earlier considered the victim’s executive secretary and a man, whom she called for assistance after the shooting happened, as persons of interest.
Martir said the SITG will be led by the BCPO and Police Station 2, along with the Cybercrime Laboratory, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), and other law enforcement agencies.
Martir said they do not discount the possibility that the killing might be planned.
Pondevilla was found with a lone gunshot wound in the nape on the driver’s seat of his driven car that was parked on 16th Lacson Street, Barangay 7 here.
The victim attended a Christmas party in a hotel here on the evening of Dec. 20 before he was found dead.
Pondevilla was with his executive secretary when the incident happened, but the latter was unharmed.
The secretary claimed that two unidentified persons on a motorcycle shot the victim, but the vehicle had no damage or bullet holes.
“Wala ta man gina discount ang possibility nga ina (conspiracy). Gina tutukan ta kung basi may upod man na lain or may nagpalapit man sa ila,” Martir said.
Despite the results of the paraffin test, Martir said that the two personalities will remain as persons of interest while the investigation is ongoing.
Martir also said they have already submitted the victim’s cellular phone to the Cybercrime Laboratory to retrieve deleted conversations between the secretary and the victim.
As to the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage, Martir said that upon reviewing one CCTV footage, no motorcycle was seen in the area, contrary to the allegation of the secretary.
In fact, Police Lieutenant Jonito Pastrana, head of Police Station 2, has earlier raised some questions due to the inconsistencies in the statement of the secretary and the evidence at the crime scene.
Martir said they are exploring all possible angles, including the angle of a love triangle, and work-related.
He said they are trying their very best to resolve the case. In fact, Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez called him last Thursday and ordered them to intensively investigate the case.