Alleged ‘mastermind’ in murder of Cebu bizman acquitted

NINE years after the murder of Cebuano businessman Richard King in Davao City, former Police Lt. Col. Leonardo Felonia was acquitted on Feb. 7, 2023 for his involvement in the case.

This was confirmed to SunStar Davao by Davao City Police Office (DCPO) spokesperson Catherine dela Rey on Feb. 7.

In an update given by Felonia’s legal counsel Caesar Europa in a virtual press conference, Felonia was released at 4:30 p.m. Felonia was in prison for eight years.

Felonia, the former chief of the Davao Police Regional Intelligence Unit, was allegedly involved in King’s death. The businessman was murdered on June 12, 2014 inside the former Vital C Building along Sobrecarey St. in Bo. Obrero.

Gunman Paul Dave Labang had confessed that Felonia ordered him to kill the businessman.

The Special Investigation Task Group King said the motive for the murder was “business and hatred.”

King, 57, was chairman and chief executive officer of J. King & Sons Co. Inc., developer of Crown Regency, Club Ultima and the City Suites Ramos Tower, and founder and director of Boracay Multiple Properties Inc.

Aside from Labang who was charged with murder, Rommel dela Cerna and Rodel dela Cerna were also charged.

Felonia, who formerly served as deputy of the intelligence unit of the Mandaue City Police Office in Cebu before being transferred to Davao, surrendered to authorities on June 24, 2014, a day after a self-confessed accomplice pointed to him as the one who had instructed Labang, the alleged gunman, to confirm that King was in his building on June 12, the night King was murdered.

After he surrendered to authorities, Felonia was suspended by the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices in 2015 over his alleged involvement in King’s murder. (with JKV)