By JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
POLICE on Wednesday said they already have a list of persons of interest that could point to the identity of the perpetrators in the killing of a lawyer in Valencia City, Bukidnon on Sunday as investigators have zeroed in on the most plausible motive for the shooting.
“We have narrowed down our investigation to a very few persons of interest,” said Valencia police chief Col. Surki Sereñas.
Sereñas, however, did not divulge the names and other details of the people who may have a role or might have knowledge in the shooting of lawyer Nicolas Gomez Jr.
Among the possible motives in the lawyer’s killing, he said, they have set their focus on the land dispute that Gomez’s family are reportedly involved in.
“The killing was very likely motivated by land conflict,” Sereñas said, adding that Gomez was one of the claimants in the real estate property litigation in Valencia and Maramag town in Bukidnon.
He added: “We already have gathered information, including CCTV footages, eyewitness accounts, circumstantial evidence and physical evidence to file charges. We are just ascertaining that we have an airtight case against the principal suspects and cohorts.”
Prior to his death, Sereñas said the court hearing that Gomez was supposed to attend to in Malaybalay City on Monday was in relation to the land dispute in Maramag.
He said the land holdings which were under litigation were fought in court between Gomez and his family and a group of squatters.
In a separate interview Wednesday, Bukidnon police director Col. Roel Lamiing said they have in their list more than two persons of interest based on the information gathered by law enforcement operatives and statements of people who are familiar with Gomez and those involved in the land dispute.
“We are backtracking, trying to trace the perpetrators. We already have a lead,” Lamiing said. He did not elaborate.
He said Gomez’s remains would be brought to Manila and would then be flown to the US where his siblings are residing.