CIDG nabs 5 suspects in ex-Batangas congressman's slay

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has arrested 5 suspects in the killing of former Batangas 2nd District congressman Edgar Mendoza.

CIDG chief Brigadier General Joel Coronel announced the development on Wednesday, January 22.

"They are undergoing investigation as of the moment and [we are] under the process of gathering additional evidence," Coronel said in a chance interview with reporters in Camp Crame.

Coronel said they were also set to speak with prosecutors of the Department of Justice in deciding what cases to file. No other details were provided as of posting.

What killing?  The charred remains of Mendoza, his driver Ruel Ruiz, and aide Nicanor Mendoza were found inside his car in Tiaong town, Quezon, on January 9.

In a statement on Wednesday, the PNP Crime Laboratory announced that it had confirmed the identities of the 3 bodies as that of the congressman and his aides, based on DNA tests on samples from the 3 men and their children.

The bodies, which had been burnt to the bone, were earlier identified through physical evidence found on the scene, such as their clothes and personal items. Mendoza, however, was no longer wearing his gold necklace and Rolex watch when his body was found, according to his family.

The Mendoza family had earlier appealed to the late lawmaker's "client" to step forward and help investigators as that person, who was not known to the family, was believed to be the last person Mendoza met with before he died.

Mendoza was laid to rest on January 14, a day before his 70th birthday. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.