The Philippine National Police has taken into custody a person authorities said was involved in the November 17 slaying of lawyer Eric Jay Magcamit in Narra town.
P/Col. Nicolas D. Torre III, newly designated head of the Palawan provincial police office, did not yet disclose the identity of the person in custody but confirmed that he is already considered a suspect. Earlier, investigators disclosed they have been seeking out four “persons of interest” in the case as part of the ongoing investigation.
“We have one suspect in custody. He was arrested last night (Sunday),” Torre said. He also remarked that the suspect is not a police officer “pero may background”, alluding to reports (not Palawan News) that the suspect is a member of the local police force.
“Open tayo sa lahat ng possibility kahit sino pa sila,” Torre added.
The police described the arrested suspect as “one of the major players” in the murder case. He was reportedly arrested in Quezon town last November 22 (Sunday) at around 11 p.m.
Among the other persons of interest in the case already identified by the police is the alleged shooter and the driver of a van. This, after the dashboard camera footage retrieved from Magcamit’s Toyota Innova vehicle also showed gunshot that came from a panel van traversing alongside Magcamit.
Torre did not disclose whether the suspect in custody was the shooter or the motorcycle-riding partner caught on Magcamit’s camera.
“Inii-interrogate muna naming ng kaunti dahil baka naman magsalita na siya at ma-solve na ng buo ang crime,” Torre said.
Magcamit was laid to rest by his family, friends, and colleagues on Sunday (November 22) in Loyola Gardens.
Prosecutor Ethel Alvarez-Magcamit, Magcamit’s wife, said that the private lawyer, whom his friends endearingly referred to as “man of legal ethics”, said that Magcamit “does not deserve such violent kind of death because he was never a violent man”.
“Our time together was cut short. But our marriage was perfect enough, hindi ko kailangan isipin or malungkot, okay na kami. He is always conditioning our mind na ‘oh, kapag nawala na ako, si Ethan [son] hindi ako dapat makalimjutan,’. At home, hindi kami nag-uusap about sa work. He is not a lawyer, I am not a prosecutor,” Magcamit’s wife said.
The series of shooting incidents in southern Palawan were “being investigated individually”, but Torre added that they are “also looking into a bigger picture” to determine if a crime group was formed in the island province.
On Friday (November 20), another high-profile killing occurred when Gregorio Baluyut, 56, the coordinator of the municipal planning office of Rizal town, was shot and killed by an unidentified assailant who barged inside his residence in Purok Mahogany in the village of Punta Baja.
The police, in its initial criminal investigation, linked the Baluyut’s murder to the “liquidation squad” of the New People’s Army in the province, citing that Baluyut was usually seen hosting police and military officers in his residence during community outreach projects in Rizal.
Roderick Aperocho, 39, chief of Barangay Poblacion in Narra town, Palawan was also gunned down by two assailants, who were also believed to be riding-in-tandem, that barged inside his residential compound on November 5.