1 YEAR AFTER INCIDENT
    Arrest order vs. suspects in killing of cop on mall lot excludes general

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    ANGELES CITY- A warrant of arrest has been issued here for the arrest of three security personnel for the killing of a policeman in the parking lot of SM City Clark mall here on the eve of Christmas Day last year, but the names did not include that of a retired general who was then the security chief of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC).

    The warrant named only CDC security personnel Jake Machinal and mall security guards Wilson Laza and Honey Bernardo, said a local police source who asked not to be named for lack of authority to talk about the arrest order. The source also declined to reveal which court issued the arrest warrant.

    The three were accused in the killing of PO1 Jomar Batul whom the CDC security department, then headed by retired Air Force Gen. Ricardo Banayat, accused of attempting to steal a motorcycle within Clark Freeport and then commandeering a van up to the area of SM Clark where he was shot dead at the parking lot in the afternoon of Dec. 24 last year.

    Batul, who was assigned at the Mindoro Oriental police, was vacationing with his family at the Fontana Leisure Park at that time.

    The CDC claimed Batul was the first to fire at the security men, but paraffin tests later showed negative results. The CDC also failed to produce the victim’s alleged gun, as well as his handbag that reportedly contained P40,000.

    A copy of the paraffin test result dated December 25, 2015 said that “qualitative examination conducted on the paraffin cast taken from both hands of the above-cited cadaver gave negative result to the test for the presence of gunpowder nitrates.”

    An initial report of the Angeles police named Banayat among the suspects. Banayat was recruited to head the CDC security department by then CDC president Arthur Tugade, who is now Transportation secretary under the Duterte government.

    A CDC report claimed Batul possessed drug paraphernalia, including a tooter and aluminum foil and an empty plastic sachet purportedly containing shabu, but these were turned over to the police only five hours after the shooting.

    Suspects identified by the police were noted to have ignored summons to shed light on the shooting.

    Batul suffered two gunshot wounds on his head, one on his right shoulder, one on his left arm and one on his foot. He died two hours after he was brought to the Ospital Ning Angeles.

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