THREE teens were arrested, while twelve are now the subject of a police manhunt, after they allegedly stabbed to death a sleeping 20-year-old man on Wednesday dawn, February 21, in Barangay Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City.
The victim, identified as John Vincent Abarquez, a resident of Celrai, Puntod, was reportedly sleeping at a make shift shed when he was supposedly attacked by the minors.
The teens are reportedly members of a local gang and repeatedly threw stones and bottles to the victim before repeatedly stabbing him.
"Basin kining biktima naa pud ni ka-grupo pero nabulag lang siya," Inspector Jessie Palencia, Police Station 5 deputy chief, told SunStar Cagayan de Oro.
Palencia said the suspects were aged 14 to 17 years old and members of so-called "Seagod of explosion" group, also known in Macabalan as "Tandog Bulabog."
Palencia said these teenagers hailed from Barangays Macabalan and Consolacion and were also responsible of stoning incidents reported earlier in the police station's jurisdiction.
"Mugna-mugna lang na nila nga grupo. Ang edad ana nila 14 to 17. Kung naay binatuha sila atong matumbok," Palencia said.
Palencia also said the group is also involved in solvent sniffing in the area.
He said the group cannot be called yet as gang because they are not yet linked to major crimes in the city, adding “Matawag nato sila nga frat group or neighborhood group."
Palencia theorized that grudges between groups may have been the motive of the killing, implying the victim may also be a member of another group.
"Posible away sa grupo ang motibo," Palencia said.
Three of the 15 suspects arrested will be charged with murder.
Palencia said it depends upon the court on how to handle the case since the suspects are still minors.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 22, 2018.