Suspected gunman in judge's killing arrested

Queenie Casimiro ABS CBN News Zamboanga

Posted at Mar 10 2014 10:50 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2014 06:50 AM

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- A suspected gunman in the killing of a judge in Zamboanga City has been arrested, police said Monday.

Mohammad Al-Khalidz Amisali was among 3 suspects arrested by members of the Zamboanga Police Station 6 in an anti-drug operation in Sunrise, Barangay Talon-Talon on Sunday afternoon.

Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro, officer-in-charge of the Zamboanga City Police Office, said further interrogation of the suspects revealed that Amisali was involved in the killing of RTC Branch 14 Executive Judge Reynerio Estacio on February 28 this year.

Estacio was gunned down while driving his vehicle just as he and his wife left their home in Barangay Tugbungan.

Casimiro said a witness positively identified Amisali as the gunman.

He said that the Estacio slay case is related to the grenade-lobbing incident on the vehicle of a businesswoman Hadja Farida Raja in Zamboanga City on October 2012.

"Rido" or a family feud was said to be the motive of the suspects in the attack against the businesswoman.

Pursuit operations conducted by authorities led to the arrest of 11 suspects. Three, including Amisali, were later released.

Judge Estacio allowed one of the 8 remaining suspects to serve as a state witness.

Casimiro revealed that on February 25, the suspects filed a motion to post bail.

The hearing was deferred to February 28, the day the judge was killed.

Casimiro said they narrowed down all possible motives in the Estacio killing, "and this was the most probable of all."

The police, meanwhile, said they will continue to investigate the incident because the mastermind has yet to be identified and arrested.

Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabel Climaco-Salazar commended the police for the major breakthrough in their investigation into the judge's killing.