Arrest order out for 'brains' in tycoon's death

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Supt. Leonardo Felonia (inset) is the alleged mastermind in the killing of hotel magnate Richard King. (CNN Philippines)

(CNN Philippines) — A warrant of arrest has been issued on the alleged brains behind the slaying of a billionaire businessman in Davao City in 2014.

Judge Emmanuel Carpio of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 16 issued the warrant on Wednesday (March 4) against Police Supt. Leonardo Felonia for allegedly masterminding the killing of hotel magnate Richard King last year.

The 56-year-old owner of the Crown Regency Group of Hotels and Vital C Health Products was shot point-blank in the head with a .45-caliber pistol as he was about to have dinner in his office on June 12, 2014.

Carpio ruled that the testimonies were "confirmatory with each other to show the probability that accused Felonia participated as the principal by inducement in the commission of the offense."

Based on investigations, confessed gunman Paul Dave Molina Labang said he liquidated King as ordered by Felonia, with the help of brothers Rommel and Rodel de la Cerna.

Labang said Rommel acted as a lookout and Rodel drove the get-away motorcycle.

The three were supposedly paid P120,000 to take out the tycoon.

Labang was first arrested 10 days after the crime for possession of a.45-caliber pistol. The De la Cerna brothers surrendered to authorities the following day.

Felonia was relieved of his duties as Regional Intelligence Unit after a murder complaint was filed against on June 23, 2014.

He is currently under restrictive custody of the Regional Intelligence Unit in Camp Crame in Quezon City

King's murder hogged the headlines on Independence Day, along with the slaying of another high-profile personality, international car racing champ Enzo Pastor.

Felonia also faces administrative charges for grave misconduct before the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and other Law Enforcement Offices.

While the RTC failed to resolve a motion for the issuance of a hold-departure order against Felonia, the policeman cannot leave Camp Crame without any approval from the chief of the Philippine National Police.

CNN Philippines' string correspondent Ben Tesiorna contributed to this report.