ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – One of the suspects in last Sunday’s killing of a university president was killed while another one was arrested in a shootout here before dawn yesterday, authorities said.
Chief Superintendent Mario Yanga, officer-in-charge of the city police, identified the slain suspect as Raymundo Leleng Limen and his arrested companion as Hermes Sarimugan.
Yanga said Limen is believed to be one of the three men who gunned down Arturo Eustaquio III, president of the Universidad de Zamboanga, outside his residence in Barangay Sta. Maria here last Sunday.
Yanga said informants spotted Limen and Sarimugan near a carnival in Barangay Guiwan, prompting police to launch an operation.
He said policemen headed by Chief Inspector Felixberto Martinez, commander of Police Station 6, engaged the two suspects in a shootout at around 1:30 a.m. yesterday.
Limen was killed while Sarimugan tried to escape onboard a motorcycle but was eventually collared.
Yanga said a .45-caliber pistol was found in Limen’s possession. The motorcycle’s utility box, meanwhile, yielded shirts and a piece of cloth supposedly used by the suspects to conceal the vehicle’s license plate.
“With all the evidence and the witnesses’ accounts, we have reason to believe that he (Limen) was one of those involved in the killing of Eustaquio. However, we cannot declare (the case closed) yet as the operation against the rest of the suspects continues,” Yanga said.
He said Limen had a pending arrest warrant and was known to belong to a group involved in illegal drugs, robbery-holdups, and gun-for-hire activities.
Mayor Celso Lobregat said the neutralization and arrest of the two suspects will help authorities unmask the mastermind in Eustaquio’s killing.
“We also hope to solve other cases of gun-slayings in this city, as the suspects were (found) to be members of a gun-for-hire group,” Lobregat said. - By Roel Pareño (