Baguio massacre suspect yields-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
THE suspect in the murder of five people in this city surrendered to Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno after a P100,000 bounty was placed on the suspect's head.
Philip Tolentino Avino, 31, surrendered to Moreno around 11:30 p.m. Monday.
Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) OIC Senior Superintendent Rolando Miranda said the suspect's aunt, Chit Tolentino, brokered the surrender.
Police found the suspect in hiding in Kamuning, Quezon City after a manhunt against him started Monday morning, with the help of the Western Police District and Vice Mayor Moreno.
— SunStarBaguio (@SunStarBaguio) April 9, 2014
The suspect was brought to the Manila Police District for documentation where a Public Attorney's Office lawyer also gathered an affidavit.
The suspect was expected to be brought back to Baguio City 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The BCPO will immediately cause for inquest proceedings on five counts of murder as soon as the suspect arrives in Baguio. Miranda said solid evidence points to Avino as the mastermind.
Five people, including three minors, were found dead on Sunday in an apartment in Kayang St. after sustaining multiple stab wounds.
Victims were identified as Jaqueline Kale Marquez Nociete, 19, who sustained 18 stab wounds; Joey Marquez Nociete Jr., nine, who sustained 14 stab wounds; Jonalyn Lozano, 32, with 12 stab wounds; Dave John de Guzman, seven, with eight stab wounds and Raymond del Mundo, eight, who sustained five stab wounds.
Del Mundo and De Guzman are playmates of the younger Nociete while Lozano is their house helper.
The key witness "Samantha" positively identified the suspect based on pieces of bloodied clothing left in the crime scene. Police found out Avino was Samantha's former live in partner.
Police investigations revealed Samantha was the main target of the suspect. However, during the time of the crime Samantha was tending the eatery of the Nociete family together with Vilma Nociete, mother of the victims.
Samantha said Avino has the motive to kill her employers, the Nocietes, who helped her when her three-year relationship with the suspect ended recently.
According to the BCPO probe, Avino might have displaced his anger on the victims when he was unable to find Samantha in the apartment.
Police are also looking into the possibility of accomplices and not discounting that the suspect may have been under the influence of drugs during the time of the crime.
Miranda said Avino will be given a lawyer from the Public Attorney's Office to prepare his affidavit and defense.
Despite Avino's denial, claiming he was framed, Miranda said the accused has no other recourse but to defend himself in court.
"Despite the denial of the suspect, we believe the evidence that we have speaks of his involvement in the crime," the police chief said.
Miranda said the P100,000 bounty will be given as soon as the City Government determines the credibility of the informant's tip and if it, indeed, led to the suspect's capture.
He said it is only Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who raised the bounty, who may decide on the matter. Domogan is currently on an official trip to South Korea.
Meanwhile, the victim’s families already submitted testimonies to police for the immediate filing of the case against Avino.
Vilma Nociete, in a phone interview Monday, said they are deeply saddened by the crime lamenting the suspect was close to the family.
"Malungkot talaga. Hindi namin inakala… masakit po talaga ang ginawa niya," Nociete said over the phone.
She said Samantha and Avino allegedly had a fight over money, which led to their breakup.
The Nociete kids are now interred in their residence in Naguilian, La Union while the three other victims, De Guzman, Del Mundo and Lozano, are now interred at the La Funeraria Paz.
Expenses of the victims' families will be shouldered by Representative Nicasio Aliping Jr. and the Baguio lawmaker's Social Responsibility Foundation, Inc.
The victim Joey Dave de Guzman is the son of a writer of Amianan Balita, a community weekly. De Guzman and Del Mundo went to the house of their friend Joey Nociete to play when the incident happened.
This heinous crime is among the worst cases Baguio police has faced, said BCPO information officer Superintendent Andrew Cayad. (Sun.Star Baguio/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 10, 2014.