SILAY CITY -- Thirty-six hours after brutally killing a father and his daughter, the primary suspect was arrested Wednesday, April 25, in his house here.
Superintendent Noel Polines, city police chief, identified the suspect as Arnel Aguilar, 29, of Barangay E. Lopez.
Polines said 44-year-old Rogelia Landao surfaced at the police station yesterday morning and confessed the crime committed by Aguilar, her son-in-law.
Landao is the partner of Antonio Padua, 63, and the mother of seven-year-old Re-An, who were allegedly stabbed and burned to death by Aguilar inside their house at Barangay Kapitan Ramon Monday night.
The minor victim just celebrated her birthday a day before the incident.
Landao told the police that she went to Padua's house with Aguilar after the latter planned to rob the victim. They knew that the victim just got money from “sugar quedan.”
When they arrived at Padua's house between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Aguilar asked the victim for money but the latter refused because he already deposited the money to a bank.
Aguilar got angry and suddenly stabbed Padua in the chest.
Because of fear, Landao ran and hid at the sugarcane plantation at the back of the house. She saw Aguilar drag Padua into the house after he continued to stab him several times.
Her daughter woke up and saw Padua on the floor covered with blood. This prompted Aguilar to also kill the minor-victim.
Landao heard her daughter shouting “mama,” but she was not able to move because she felt weak and scared. Aguilar ignited Padua first then placed the minor on top.
The suspect left the house while Landao was still hiding. Landao came out a few hours later.
The victims were discovered after a sugarcane worker found blood at the balcony of Padua's house around 5 a.m.
After Landao's confession, police went to Aguilar's house around 9 a.m. and brought him to the police station for questioning.
Polines said the motive of the incident was robbery but they have yet to complete the evidence.
He also said they are still waiting for the autopsy results of the victims to determine the number of stab wounds.
Polines said it was Aguilar who committed the crime but Landao has “participation” on it because she did not even call for assistance when she saw the suspect killing the victims.
He said Landao might be charged for parricide because of her conspiracy with Aguilar while the latter will face two counts of murder.
The police chief said they will expedite the filing of the case so it can be filed through inquest proceedings.
He also dismissed reports that the child was allegedly raped. Meanwhile, Landao admitted she agreed to Aguilar's plan to rob Padua. But she told him not to cause any harm to her partner and daughter.
She was even shocked when Aguilar killed both victims.
“I regret. I was not on my proper mind when I agreed and accompanied Aguilar to rob Padua,” Landao said.
Landao said Aguilar called her Sunday night to meet him the following day to go to Padua's house. Landao went emotional when she asked forgiveness to Padua's family.
“Nakonsensya ko. Indi ko katulog tungod sa natabo. Pasensyahon lang gd ko tani nila kag sang bata ko nga napatay gid.” (I felt guilty about what happened. I cannot even sleep because of the incident. I hope they can forgive me and my child was killed), Landao said.
Landao said she is willing to face the charges. She even urged Aguilar to also admit the crime. She said she’s not using illegal drugs, but she alleged that Aguilar was previously engaging in illegal drugs.
Aguilar denied his involvement in the crime, claiming that he was at home when the incident happened.
Aguilar even said he no longer sees Landao for months as the latter would usually not allow him to see his wife, who is Landao’s eldest daughter from her first husband.
“Wala ko to problema sa iya ya. Nakibot na lang ko ya na gindakop ko nila kag ako na ila napasibangdan sa natabo” (I have no problem with Padua. I was even surprised when police arrested me and was being pointed to as the suspect), Aguilar said.
Aguilar is detained at the police station.