A policeman being investigated for the death of a motorcycle rider allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the rooftop of a building right inside Camp Crame in Quezon City yesterday morning.
Senior Supt. Antonio Gardiola, director of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, ruled out any foul play behind the death of Police Officer 3 Jeremy de Villa, saying they have people who witnessed the suicide.
“There are a lot of witnesses who saw him going up the building of the PSPG (Police Security and Protection Group) building. There’s no foul play,” said Gardiola.
De Villa is one of the policemen charged in connection with the death of motorcycle rider John dela Riarte who was shot after allegedly trying to grab the firearm of the HPG cops while inside the police car.
The video of Dela Riarte’s arrest prior to his death went viral, prompting the ongoing investigation. The victim’s family claimed that Dela Riarte was intentionally killed by the policemen.
Gardiola said De Villa had been placed under restrictive custody staying at the HPG headquarters, but was allowed to move around inside Camp Crame.
The last time he was seen alive, according to Gardiola, was yesterday morning while walking around the vicinity of the HPG headquarters. The alleged suicide took place at around 9:45 a.m.
“We brought him to the hospital to revive him but to no avail. Let us respect the situation now,” said Gardiola.
Gardiola revealed that De Villa had been uneasy the past few days, an observation not lost on the lawyer and the family of Dela Riarte. “Parang blanko po ang isip niya, malayo parati ang iniisip, wala po sa sarili,” said Gardiola.
Gardiola disclosed that De Villa lost his mother a few days ago that may have also contributed to his problems. “His mother died because of the stress brought by the incident,” said Gardiola, referring to the controversy involving De Villa.
Robert dela Riarte, brother of the slain motorcycle rider, said they noticed De Villa’s behavior during the hearing.
“He was even refusing to sign the affidavit. Para siyang tuliro,” said Dela Riarte in an interview over dzBB.
Dela Riarte said he heard that De Villa went to Zamboanga recently to mourn the death of a relative.
But while he understands that De Villa was grieving over the loss of a loved one, he stressed that the public should know that they were the first who lost a loved one.
“Maybe he was depressed but we also lost a loved one, we were the first to lose a relative,” said.
(AARON B. RECUENCO)