Cops rap 11 in San Pablo councilor's murder

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna - Police on Friday filed murder and frustrated murder charges against 11 suspects in the killing of a San Pablo City councilor last month.

Senior Superintendent Rene Diaz Ong, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)- 4A regional chief, said they filed three counts of multiple murder and two counts of multiple frustrated murder at the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the 11 identified suspects and several "John Does."

Among the identified suspects were Pelagio Masongsong, Jerry Araneta, Angel Masongsong, Jimmy Mileda and Lino Vecina. The other suspects were named only through their aliases Maysel, Ka Vic or Tatay, Jake or Pacquiao, Jommel, Dodot, and Onte.

Ong said Mileda has been slain while alias Onte surrendered to authorities and turned witness to the slay case.

Quoting Onte, Ong said the suspect he named as alias Maysel was the one who led a meeting, where they came up with a plan to assasinate Councilor Danilo "DY" Yang.

“Onte also confessed that he participated in the ambush and saw personally how it was executed, making him a viable witness,” Ong said.

He said the witness is now under the protective custody of the police.

Gunmen ambushed Yang and his group in Barangay Bautista last June 24.

Yang, his bodyguard Brando delos Santos and political supporter Manolo Barcenas died in the attack. The councilor's other bodyguard, Jovy Lopez, and 17-year old Mark Edward Herrera were hurt in the ambush.

Rommel Viterbo, driver-security guard of the councilor, was able to return fire and killed one of the gunmen, who was later identified as Mileda.

Yang, 45, was elected president of the Laguna Councilors' League earning him a seat at the Laguna’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan representing Laguna's 3rd district.

Police suspect the ambush was politically motivated because the councilor was planning to run for the city's vice-mayor in the 2010 elections. With a report from Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN Southern Tagalog