Charred body believed to be former Batangas congressman

Photo: Dennis Datu/ABS-CBN News
Photo: Dennis Datu/ABS-CBN News

Three charred bodies, one of which is believed to be a former Batangas congressman, were found in the backseat of a burned-out car today in Tiaong, Quezon province.

Tiaong’s police chief told The Philippine Daily Inquirer that they learned at around 1:45am that a Honda Civic later identified as belonging to Congressman Edgar Mendoza was aflame on a bridge in the village of San Francisco. The fire was soon put out and though the three bodies within were burned beyond immediate recognition, officers found Mendoza’s ID card on one of them.

“What remained were skeletons, they were burned beyond recognition so it is hard to say that one of them is indeed the former congressman,” Panganiban told the Manila Bulletin in a separate interview. “We need a DNA test to really identify them.”

The police believe all three people were already dead when they were put into the vehicle and torched. Some items, which the police believe belonged to the victims, were found scattered a few meters from the car.

Mendoza served in congress from 1998 to 2001. His family confirmed with the police that the vehicle did belong to Mendoza. Mendoza, a lawyer, was last seen alive leaving his family home Wednesday in Batangas to meet a client in Laguna. He was later reported missing when he failed to come home. 

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