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November 20 , 2008 Friday

Suspect of RCBC Bank Massacre, Jake Javier Surrenders

A suspect named Jake Javier, in the RCBC bank massacre of 10 people in a bank in Laguna province last May 2008 surrendered to Philippine National Police Chief Jesus Verzosa Thursday, November 20, 2008. Jake Javier, who was supposedly involved in the killings at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. in Cabuyao, was escorted to Camp Crame in Quezon City by a team from the Commission on Human Rights, led by Chairperson Leila de Lima. De Lima required protection for Javier, who also turned state witness to the alleged police wipe out of three other suspects, including Javier’s father Vivencio.

De Lima brought Javier before Verzosa and requested that Javier be placed under the custody of the PNP national headquarters after members of Task Force RCBC attempted to arrest Javier Wednesday. Javier has been under CHR custody since June. A warrant of arrest reportedly released by the Biñan regional trial court was shown to De Lima Wednesday. But De Lima questioned the arrest, saying, “Why will they make the arrest? There is a case now filed against them before the Department of Justice.”

De Lima was referring to the case filed last September by lawyer Harry Roque, representing the families of the victims of the RCBC massacre. But so far, members of Task Force RCBC have failed to appear before the courts. De Lima’s appeal was granted by Verzosa, who said that Javier would be temporarily detained at the PNP custodial center while awaiting the decision of the Biñan RTC.“We have acceded and volunteered, upon the motion of the counsel of the subject, that [Javier] may be allowed to be committed here at the custodial center of Camp Crame for security purposes after the concerns that he has said,” Verzosa said.

“The proper procedure is that he be surrendered to the court that issued the warrant of arrest. Our request to the chief PNP is that he form a separate team, that will accompany Jake and deliver him to the court. And the court will decide where to commit him,” De Lima said. Javier will undergo the usual booking procedures at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR). After which, he will be accompanied by Senior Superintendent Isagani Nerez, CIDG-NCR chief, to Biñan RTC for the proper turnover, Verzosa said. But Verzosa asserted that Javier would be considered as a suspect, facing charges of robbery with homicide. Jake Javier was reportedly involved in the murder of at least nine people in the RCBC bank in Cabuyao.

“We’re very grateful that the chief PNP has agreed that we surrender Jake Javier to him, that it shouldn’t be to the RCBC task force. It’s because you know there were findings at the CHR about the Tanauan incident and in fact there is an ongoing preliminary investigation before the DOJ,” De Lima said. CHR has ruled that the encounter between Task Force RCBC and supposed suspects in Tanauan, Batangas was a “rubout” and not a “shootout.”
Meanwhile, Roque said he has requested for photos and biographical papers of the 38 accused members of Task Force RCBC, after they repeatedly failed to attend court hearings.“The PNP has been very cooperative and I understand the CHR will be given personal biographical file, including the photos of the 38,” he said.