CEBU CITY -- Police arrested Thursday the seven suspects in the murder of a 16-year-old boy and the rape of his girlfriend in a secluded area in Barangay Buaya, Lapu-Lapu City last Sunday.

Of the seven suspects, who are members of Bloods gang, five are minors aged 15 to 17 years old.

Click here for Election 2010 updates

They all denied involvement in the crime, saying they were already home and sleeping when the crime occurred.

The killing of Russel Booc and the raping of his girlfriend, both 16 and members of rival gang Crips, reportedly happened at past 2 a.m. The suspects and the victims live in the same barangay.

“Gipatay nalang daw ni Sadam si Russel kay nahadlok daw nga mailog ang leadership sa ilang group ni Russel (Sadam killed Booc for fear that he might take over the leadership of the group),” Acting City Police Director Mariano Natuel said quoting suspect Jeffrey Cabilao, 19.

Police interrogated Cabilao, whom one of the suspects pointed as the one who had the gun and shot Booc after they gang-raped Booc’s girlfriend.

With the arrest of the group, the police considered the case closed and are preparing affidavits for the filing of criminal charges for murder and rape against the suspects.

Apart from Cabilao, another suspect is Joel Ramirez, also 19 years old.

Cabilao said he was playing billiards that night together with his two cousins, who are also suspects, and other gang-mates.

He claimed that at 12 midnight, his wife arrived so he went home with her.

“Wala man gyod ko anang hitaboa kay tua naman ko sa akong asawa anang mga orasa. Ako gyod ang ilang gitudlo kay nasuya man gud na sila nako (I wasn’t at the scene when it happened since I was with my wife. They are accusing me because of envy),” he said.

But two suspects, age 16 and 15, denied they are related to Cabilao and identified him as that one who had a gun.

They said Cabilao threatened to shoot them if they won’t participate in raping Booc’s girlfriend.

The two also said rivalry between Booc and Cabilao had long existed.

Last Sunday, the victims were out on a date in a grassy area in Buaya.

They reportedly bought burgers in a store along the highway and then walked back passing by a dark area, where the suspects waylaid them.

Cabilao reportedly poked a revolver on Booc’s head ordering him to lie face down as four of his six companions took turns in molesting Booc’s girlfriend.

After raping the girl, Cabilao shot Booc in the head.

“Iya man ming pusilon kon dili mi mo apil ug rape. Unya wala sab mi magdahom nga iyang patyon si Russel. Nanagan gani mi pag buto sa pusil kay nahadlok mi (He threatened to shoot us if we didn’t rape the girl. We didn’t expect that he would kill Russel. We even ran away when he shot Russel),” one of the suspects said.

Because the place was dark, Booc’s girlfriend was not able to see the suspects’ faces.

However, one of the suspects called one of his companions “Toni,” which gave her a clue that the group belonged to the rival gang. (AIV of Sun.Star Cebu)