Dutchman’s killers still unidentified

CAGAYAN de Oro City Police are still clueless on the identities of the two men who killed a Dutchman in Manticao town on Monday evening, October 10.

Police said they have already secured affidavits of four persons in relation to the death of the Dutchman identified as Carolus Maria Van Der Ploeg, 59.

One of those who had executed a sworn statement was Emma Ambaic in whose house Der Ploeg was staying when he visited Manticao to meet a young girl he befriended online.

The teenager, whom Van Der Ploeg met through a social networking site, also executed an affidavit.

A witness also told police he saw two bonnet-wearing men waiting for Van Der Ploeg near Ambaic’s house, while another one discovered the body of the victim with a cardboard with the words “I’m a pedophile and addict” written on it after he was shot in Purok 2, Barangay Punta Silum, Manticao town Monday night.

Manticao Municipal Police chief Senior Inspector Enrique Belaca-ol Jr. said that although four people had already come forward, investigators have yet to identify the perpetrators.

The person who saw the suspected gunmen wasn’t able to take a closer look at them since it was dark and they were wearing bonnets, Belaca-ol said.

“We have four affidavits, but nobody can identify the suspects and nobody saw the shooting,” he told this reporter in a phone interview Thursday morning.

Per police report, Van Der Ploeg succumbed to two gunshot wounds on his head fired from a .45 caliber pistol.

In recent interviews, Ambaic said the Dutchman came to the country to meet his chatmate, who is a friend of her teenage daughter.

Van Der Ploeg was said to have stayed in the Ambaics’ house for more than a week and in the course of his stay even offered to marry their daughter, who is still 17 years old.

Belaca-ol said the Dutch embassy police in Manila had already coordinated with his office regarding the case of Van Der Ploeg’s death.

He said they had requested for a copy of the police report and asked that the victim’s gadgets, a laptop and two cellphones, be turned over to them.

Belaca-ol said Van Der Ploeg’s electronic devices were believed to have contained pornographic videos, and that he has already endorsed these to the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Cybercrime Group for analysis.

Contrary to some reports, he said investigators could not yet confirm if the victim was a pedophile.

Belaca-ol said he believed the Dutchman’s killing was pre-planned since the gunmen were waiting for him and knew exactly his route.

He said the Dutch embassy police had requested not to conduct autopsy on Van Der Ploeg’s body until his family in the Netherlands is informed.
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