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PIA Press Release
2006/10/06

Ramento slay ‘solved’ with arrest of suspects - PNP

Quezon City (6 October) -- POLICE claimed to have solved the killing last Tuesday of Philippine Independent Church bishop Alberto Ramento following the arrest of four suspects, all alleged members of a robbery gang.

A statement from the Philippine National Police (PNP) said the arrests of Michael Viado, Michael Quitalig, Raymon Perez, and Joel Villanueva, proved the killing of the prelate was the offshoot of a robbery and not politically-motivated as claimed by militant and human rights groups, as well as kin of Ramento.

The statement tagged the four as members of a robbery gang called the "Magic group," which allegedly engages in shoplifting and cellular phone snatching at the Tarlac City mall Magic Star.

The gang has about 30 members, many of them members of the defunct "Dagis Palengke" gang, it added.

Tarlac City police chief Superintendent Rudy Lacadin said Ramento's ring and DVD player were recovered from the suspects, the statement said.

Ramento's killers barged into the rectory of the San Sebastian Parish in Tarlac City at around 4 a.m. on October 3 and stabbed the 69-year-old bishop five times – thrice in the back and twice in the chest -- with a kitchen knife, investigators said. (PIA) [top]

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