Suspect 'went on rampage' during arrest
MANILA, Philippines (2nd Update) – Jason Aguilar Ivler, the suspect in the killing of a Palace official’s son last November, was arrested by elements of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Monday morning.
NBI Director Nestor Mantaring said Ivler exchanged gunfire with NBI agents who entered the Ivler home at Blue Ridge A Subdivision in Quezon City early Monday.
"Ivler had a baby armalite and a bandolier. He just started shooting but he was also shot. Before he was shot, at least two operatives were hit," Mantaring said in a radio dzMM interview.
Mantaring identified the casualties as Anna Lira Labao of the NBI Intelligence Service Division and Atty. Julito Magno, head of the NBI Special Action Unit. Both are out of danger, he added.
Ivler was rushed to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center after sustaining gunshot wounds to the right shoulder and left upper abdomen.
Dr. Fernando Lopez, chief of the hospital's surgery department, said Ivler's vital signs have already stabilized although he would have to undergo surgery to remove his spleen.
"The patient has been stabilized and his vital signs are OK at the moment. He's currently under general anesthesia. The bullet went through his abdomen and pierced his large intestine," he said in a separate radio dzMM interview.
Ivler has been the subject of a police manhunt after allegedly shooting dead Renato Ebarle, Jr., the son of assistant secretary Renato Ebarle, Sr., during a traffic altercation along Boni Serrano Avenue in Quezon City on November 18, 2009. Ebarle died of 3 gunshot wounds in the body.
A Palace official, meanwhile, praised the NBI for arresting the suspect who had been in hiding for two months.
"The arrest of Ivler is a big personal relief to the Ebarle family and friends. The NBI and all those who helped in his arrest deserve high commendation. The arrest of Ivler should also hopefully help address the issue of road rage," Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said in a statement.
The NBI agents raided Ivler’s house at No. 23 Hillside Drive in Blue Ridge A Subdivision at around 6 a.m.
A report by ABS-CBN Correspondent Maan Macapagal said Ivler’s mother, Marlene, allegedly tried to hide her son from authorities.
“Sabi ng mother ni Jason wala siya doon pero nagpursigi pa rin ang NBI,” Macapagal reported.
“His house was like a maze,” she continued, noting that the NBI had a hard time finding the murder suspect.
Mantaring said Ivler was hiding in a storeroom when he started shooting at the NBI agents. He added that Ivler's mother was in a separate room when the shooting started.
Several media members were even caught in the crossfire. “We don’t know where to go... Papasok sa closet, nagsisisikan,” Macapagal said of the ordeal of the members of the press.
Mom, house staff could face charges
The NBI director said Ivler's mother could face charges for harboring Ivler despite a warrant of arrest for the suspect.
"We have information that Jason never left the house. They have already raided the house twice before but never found him," he said.
He said Ivler probably tried to fight arrest since he knew that murder is a nonbailable crime.
Assistant Secretary Ebarle noted that Ivler's mother even told police that she received an e-mail from her son, saying that he was already in the United States.
Ebarle said charges should be filed against the house staff of Ivler home as well as Ivler's stepfather, Asian Development Bank (ADB) official Stephen Pollard, for harboring a known criminal.
The Palace official thanked law enforcers for not letting up on the case and for finally arresting Ivler. "It's good that he was finally arrested because he could hurt a lot more people," he said.
"Today is the 60th day since my son was killed. He was killed on November 18. This is my only son. It's been very hard for us but this morning, our prayers were answered," he added.
An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) was earlier mistaken to have been Ivler, after having the same first and middle names of the suspect.
Jason Vivar Aguilar, 26, of Pandukot in Calumpit, Bulacan arrived in the Philippines on January 7 from Qatar after Doha police thought he was Jason Aguilar Ivler, a wanted suspect in Manila. Aguilarworked as a welder for one month in Qatar.
Ivler’s name was already on the Interpol Red Notice List since his warrant of arrest was released in the Philippines on December 23, 2009. Malacañang also offered a P1-million reward for any information that would lead to Ivler’s arrest.
Ivler, an American citizen, faced a criminal case in 2004 which accused him of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.
He was involved in a deadly car accident that killed presidential adviser Nestor Ponce, Jr. in August 2004. – With reports from ANC and Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News