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Carjack-murder suspect: I bought gas to burn Venson

One of the primary suspects in the kidnapping and murder of car dealer Venson Evangelista issued on Saturday a sworn statement detailing how the notorious Dominguez carnapping syndicate planned the grisly crime. In his sworn statement, Alfred Mendiola said the group drew up the plan to carnap Evangelista’s car at an apartment in Greenville Subdivision in San Fernando, Pampanga on January 13, past 10:30 am, according to a newscast on GMA News’ “24 Oras Weekend". The group included Mendiola, brothers Raymond and Roger Dominguez —believed to be the leaders of the syndicate— Allan Torres, a certain Jayson alias Soy, a certain Rolly, and a certain Ann. According to Mendiola’s statement, he was tasked to get in touch with Evangelista to act as the middleman; Torres would pretend to be the buyer; Raymond would act as a lookout on board a white Ford Expedition; and Jayson would drive a back-up green Pajero. Also used in the operation, according to the report, was a black Ford Everest, allegedly owned by Roger, which was recovered Friday after it was abandoned in a car repair shop in Angeles City, Pampanga. The back-up Pajero was likewise recovered in the same shop. Killing of Evangelista also part of plan Mendiola further narrated that during the planning of the crime at the Greenville apartment, Rolly had already declared that they would kill Evangelista. At around 2 pm, the group left San Fernando and arrived at Evangelista’s house in Quezon City at around 4 pm. After haggling over the price of a Toyota Land Cruiser, Mendiola, Evangelista and a certain Joel went on a test drive. Evangelista drove the Land Cruiser, accompanied from behind by the green Pajero. At about 4:15 pm, Mendiola said the group declared their plan to Evangelista, and took control of the Land Cruiser. “Tinutukan po siya (Evangelista) ng baril ni Joel. At bumaba naman mula sa pajero si Rolly. At dumaan sa driver's seat para tutukan din si Venson (Joel pointed his gun at Evangelista, and Rolly got off the Pajero and went inside the Cruiser through the driver’s seat to also point his gun at Evangelista)," Mendiola said in his written statement. From Cubao, the group passed through North Luzon Expressway and reached Mabalacat, Pampanga sometime past 5 p.m. Mendiola said he was asked to go to a mall to buy two tires and a gallon of gasoline, and before he left, he saw Evangelista still inside the cruiser. "Naiwan po siya sa loob ng land cruiser nang umalis ako. Naka-packaging tape na kulay gray ang mata, bibig, at kamay ni Venson (Evangelista was still inside the Land Cruiser when I left. His hands, eyes and mouth were bound and covered by a gray packaging tape.) After that, Mendiola said he never knew what happened next, and he only found out that Evangelista had been killed. According to Mendiola, the group distributed Evangelista’s belongings among themselves: his cell phone went to Joel, Rolly took his necklace and bracelet, while Roger took Evangelista’s cash amounting to P3,500, ATM card, driver’s license and gun license. Investigation still ongoing Amid these discoveries, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Raul Bacalzo said the investigation is still ongoing. "I'm not saying that we have completed the investigation, as of this time the search is ongoing. I can only presume that marami pa tayong makukuhang ebidensya doon (there is still much evidence that we can recover)," Bacalzo said in the same newscast. At around 8 pm also on Saturday, in a separate newscast also on “24 Oras Weekend", Mendiola and Batibot Parulan, another suspect, were brought to the Quezon City Hall of Justice for inquest proceedings under Assistant City Prosecutor Soliman Usman. The two suspects will be charged with kidnapping and murder as well as carnapping, but police said that the two are also being considered witnesses. The Evangelista family also arrived at the Hall of Justice to join the proceedings. In a related development, Scene-of-the-Crime Operatives on Saturday raided supposedly the second safe house of the Dominguez group also in Greenville Subdivision. Recovered were things left by the group such as a bed sheet from which police said semen samples will be taken, and pieces of men’s clothes, some of which were bloodied. A pair of jeans recovered in the same apartment will likewise be examined to determine if it belonged to another carjack-slay victim Emerson Lozano, son of Marcos lawyer Oliver Lozano. Police said they are still verifying if there is a connection between Lozano’s and Evangelista’s murders. — TJD/HS, GMANews.TV