The former Batangas congressman, his bodyguard, and driver were fatally shot and burned in their car in Tiaong, Quezon, yesterday.
According to CALABARZON Police Director Police Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao, the victims, were identified as former Batangas 2nd District Rep. Edgar Mendoza, 60, driver Ruel Ruiz and bodyguard Nicanor Mendoza.
At 1:45 am on January 9, the Tiaong Municipal Police Station (MPS) received a phone call from a concerned citizen regarding a burning vehicle on the San Francisco Bridge, Brgy. San Francisco of the said town.
Tiaong MPS operatives responded quickly with officials of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
Quezon Provincial Police Office (PPO) Director Col. Audie Madrideo said that several residents were awakened by a vehicle burning at around 12:30 am.
When the fire was extinguished, the body of the former solon and two others with bullet wounds in different parts of the body were discovered.
It was 2:28 am when firefighters finally extinguished the fire.
Former Batangas congressman, 2 others killed, burned in car
In a statement from Mendoza’s family, the former legislator left his home in Batangas City with his driver and a bodyguard to attend a meeting in Calamba City, Laguna, on Wednesday afternoon.
However, the former congressman failed to return home until the crime was discovered.
Atty. Edgar Mendoza Jr., the son of the former lawmaker, confirmed that they own the burned the Honda Civic (DAN 6374).
Major Lawrence Panganiban, chief of the Tiaong Police, said the victims’ bodies had to be subjected to DNA testing to confirm if they are the former Congressman and two others.
Investigators said the bodies were beyond the recognition. They also wonder why all three victims were at the back of the vehicle.
Investigations are ongoing on possible motives for killing the former congressman and his associates.
Accordingly, Malacañang condemned the killing and burning of Mendoza’s vehicle.
“This is an outrageous act of barbarism. The perpetrators of this heinous crime will be pursued ’till they are placed behind bars. We assure the bereaved family of the deceased that justice will be accorded by prosecuting the people behind this dastardly crime to the fullest extent of the law,” said Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo.
“As the Palace condemns this recent felony, we express our deep condolences to the family, loved ones, colleagues, and constituents of the late former Congressman Edgar Mendoza,” Panelo added.