National Bureau of Investigation-Bacolod head, Ferdinand Lavin, yesterday said that the family of suspected gun-for-hire Pic Raymond Longno sought their help Tuesday to determine whether or not he was indeed the one who killed East View Hotel owner Johnny Chua.
Lavin said Chua's son Brent Andrew, who was driving their black Isuzu Alterra when the businessman was reportedly shot by Longno, went to the NBI office on Wednesday and assured that he will cooperate with the investigation.
However, Brent Andrew said he cannot issue any statements now as they are still in grief over the death of his father and that he will return to the NBI to give his account of what really transpired later, Lavin said.
Chua, 63, of Capitolville Subdivision, Bacolod City, was on his way home from the Bacolod downtown area, when he was shot, allegedly by Longno, 37, of Malaspina Street, Brgy. Villamonte, Bacolod, at the junction of JV and Burgos Streets at about 6 p.m. Saturday. Longno was also killed by two bonnet-wearing men the following day near his house.
Lavin added that NBI is willing to assist the Chua family if they seek their help in the investigation of his killing.
Lavin also said the NBI is only helping the family of Longno with their questions about his involvement in the killing of Chua, and not to contradict the earlier findings of the Bacolod City Police linking the two murders.
City Police Director Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz, on Wednesday, said that whoever ordered the killing of Chua may also be involved in the assassination of Longno, probably to silence him.
De la Paz said that they have not received any surrender feelers yet from the driver of the motorcycle used by Longno to get away after the shooting.
He said they continue to call on the motorcycle driver to seek police protective custody as those behind the killings of Longno and Chua may also be after him by now.
The members of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Bacolod-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Industry, Northern and Southern Negros Chinese Chamber met with de la Paz at his office Wednesday regarding the assassination of Chua and Longno.
MBCCI president Frank Carbon said that while the police claimed that these murders are isolated, the business sector is still worried for their safety and claimed that it gives a negative image to Bacolod.
During the meeting, which was also attended by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, De la Paz briefed the businessman on their latest investigation and also assured them that they are working to resolve the killing of Chua and his Longno.
Carbon said most of their members were satisfied with what the Bacolod Police is doing as far as investigation on the case is concerned
The Hotels and Restaurants Association of Negros Occidental also condemned the killing of Chua on Monday and appealed to the police for a swift resolution of his case.
HRANO president Bobby Magalona, said the killing of Chua shocked their members and also said it sends a negative image of the peace and order in Bacolod, which may affect its tourism industry.*APN