Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/10/06MANILA4464.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4464 2006-10-25 07:58 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO9321
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4464 2980758
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250758Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3626
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
UNCLAS MANILA 004464

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PINS MOPS KCRM RP
SUBJECT: POLICE CONFIRM MURDER OF BISHOP RAMENTO NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED

REF: MANILA 4359

¶1. Philippine National Police (PNP) official Henry Libay
confirmed that the widely reported murder of Tarlac City
Aglipayan Bishop Alberto Ramento on October 3 was not
politically motivated; but rather a case of robbery/homicide.
Libay also confirmed that the PNP arrested four members of
the “Magic Group,” a criminal gang based in the Tarlac area,
on October 19 and charged them with the Bishop’s murder.
Embassy confirmed with the provincial court in Tarlac City
that a case has been filed against the four members.

¶2. According to media reports, members of the Bishop’s
family, leftist lawmakers, and human rights NGOs are blaming
the Arroyo administration for Bishop Ramento’s killing, but
the PNP is standing firm in its assessment that the murder
was the work of common criminals.

¶3. Tarlac Police Chief Nicanor Bartolome said the Bishop was
probably murdered while trying to stop the four suspects from
prying open the church safe. Bartolome said the motive “was
plain and simple robbery.” PNP Chief Oscar Calderon also
discounted a political motive, adding, “it is our duty as
police officers to present the case based on evidence.”

¶4. In an interview with web newscaster INQ7.net, retired
Supreme Court Justice Jose Melo, chair of the independent
commission created by President Arroyo to investigate the
recent wave of extrajudicial killings (ref), stated that his
commission is not bound by the findings of the PNP, and said
that if the family of Bishop Ramento is not satisfied with
PNP actions taken in the case, “(the Melo Commission) is
willing to hear their side so we can further investigate the
case.”
KENNEY

   

 

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