Criminal raps filed vs councilors aides

JULIUS Rey and Roy de los Reyes were charged for the murder of Mercedes Nava, cousin of their boss Councilor Plaridel Nava. (Jennifer P. Rendon)

POLICE filed criminal charges against two close-in security personnel of Iloilo City Councilor Plaridel Nava before the clock struck 12 midnight of Jan 8, 2019.

Brothers Julius and Roy de los Reyes were charged with murder and violations of Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and RA 9516 or illegal possession of explosives.

The Mandurriao Police Station had to file the case immediately, as the reglementary period of detention of the delos Reyes brothers was to lapse by 12 midnight.

Senior Superintendent Martin Defensor Jr., Iloilo City police chief, said the murder case was for the death of Mercedes “Ging-Ging” Nava, who died in an ambush last Jan 4 at Barangay Calajunan, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Mercedes’ companion, Erwin Fontillas, was also killed while the two teenagers who were with them were unharmed.

Defensor said only the murder case for Mercedes was filed because Fontillas’ family explicitly told police investigators that they won’t pursue any criminal charges against the perpetrators.

“Maybe, they decided to no longer pursue any case out of fear,” the city police chief said.

Despite the filing of the case, the investigation on Mercedes’ murder did not end there.

“We still have to pin down who ordered her killing,” Defensor said.

Earlier, police said that Mercedes and Fontillas were never linked to illegal drugs, unlike other killings since September 2018 involving motorcycle-riding suspects.

They instead pointed to her numerous estafa and bouncing checks cases as possible motives.

The other angle is her personal grudges with her cousin, Councilor Nava.

But Nava vehemently denied any hand in the killing.

The councilor, who was in Bangkok, Thailand, when the killing happened, claimed he could order the death of a family member.

He said their rift is to petty to order her assassination.

But two days into the ambush, two witnesses pointed to the delos Reyes brothers as the gunmen who killed Mercedes and Fontillas.

On Monday, police arrested the two suspects inside Nava’s office at the Iloilo City Hall.

Defensor stood by the regularity of the arrest asserting that it was still part of their hot pursuit pursuit operation.

Nava, on other other hand, vowed to file counter-charges for the alleged illegal arrest of his aides, whom he claimed to be fall guys,

Defensor is hopeful for a 100 percent conviction of the suspects.

After all, it’s the first of the MRS-related killings were a case was finally lodged.