Suspect in architect’s murder merely appeared: top official

THE DAVAO City Police Office downplayed the public appearance Monday of Rosam Giger, who was tagged as the suspect in the killing of architect John Riz Fortuna, who was found dead last week inside his car.

Sta. Ana Police station commander Royina Garma said that instead of surrendering to authorities, Giger instead merely “appeared” before the police without waiving his freedom.

Giger showed up at the Grand Men seng Hotel yesterday, with reporters earlier told by City Hall sources he would “surrender” to Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte.

However, there was no surrender that happened, with the DCPO even admitting that Giger was a free man since a 72-hour window after the commission of the crime had already lapsed and that he could not be arrested until warrant was served by the court.

In an interview, Giger’s counsel, lawyer, Nestor Fernandez said he would possibly surrender if or when the warrant for the arrest against him comes out.

Fernandez, however, said he would make sure his client enjoys all of his rights.

Giger was called out by the DCPO last week.

DCPO chief Vicente Danao, Jr. said Giger’s life “faces risk” if he doesn’t surrender immediately. “If you have plans of surrendering, you must do it earlier,” he said.

When prompted for clarification, Danao explained, “Maybe the family of the victim would take revenge, so he must not let it happen.”

PO3 Lendro Tutor, investigator of Sta. Ana Police Precinct, said that personal grudge might be the motive in the killing because they used to be business partners.

Initial investigation showed that the triggerman immediately left after the attack and boarded a tricycle heading toward Cabaguio Avenue. The victim was murdered in front of his apartment around 8 a.m.

Fortuna was declared dead on arrival when brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center. Scene of the Crime Operatives recovered eight empty shells of 9mm pistol from the crime scene which were sent to the crime laboratory for ballistics test. (with reports from Rhoda Grace Saron)

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