Suspect, 21, confesses to Coach Jay’s murder

File Photo
File Photo

A SUSPECT in the murder of voice coach Joel Jude Unchuan is now in police custody.

The City of Naga Police Station identified him as 21-year-old Sanny Lumangca, a native of Clarin, Misamis Occidental.

Lumangca reportedly turned himself in at the station on Friday morning, Jan. 12, 2024.

Unchuan, known to his friends and colleagues as “Coach Jay,” was found lifeless with his hands tied in Sitio Palanas, Barangay Inayagan in the City of Naga, southern Cebu on Dec. 30, 2023.

According to Lt. Col. Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesman of Police Regional Office 7 Director Brig. Gen. Anthony Aberin, the suspect voluntary confessed to the crime.

However, Pelare said the case is still not closed since the closed-circuit TV (CCTV) camera showed two persons dropping off the victim’s sports utility vehicle (SUV) near a carwash in the northern town of Liloan.

“Ang iyang giingon siya ra usa, but we are not closing the investigation kung duna pa bay additional nga mga suspects, but as of now naa naman siyay extra-judicial confession. Amo na lang gipang verify gi validate kung tinuod ba tong tanan ang iyang confession,” Pelare said.

(Lumangca said he was alone when he committed the crime but we are not closing the investigation so we could look for other suspects. But as of now, he already executed an extrajudicial confession. That’s why we are verifying and validating if everything he said is true.)

But Pelare said Lumangca was definitely with the victim on the night of the murder since he could be seen on the SUV’s dashboard camera when this was checked by the Regional Police Forensic.

The police official said the two had a misunderstanding while inside the vehicle, which resulted in a heated argument.

Based on Lumangca’s confession, the murder took place inside the vehicle late night of Dec. 29 in Mandaue City.

This was confirmed by CCTV camera footage that showed the SUV stop for a few minutes in the city with its hazard lights on.

The suspect then said he brought the body to the City of Naga where he dumped it by the roadside in the mountain part of Barangay Inayagan. He then drove to Liloan where carwash employees saw him leave the SUV along the national highway.

Lumangca said last Dec. 29 was the second time he and the victim got together.

Unchuan was a resident judge, panelist and mentor of the Sinulog Idol since the singing competition, which is held every Sinulog season in Cebu City, started 15 years ago.

Last Dec. 30, the Sinulog Idol put out a statement regarding his death.

“Coach Jay is a beloved mother figure in the Sinulog Idol family. She has shaped all our idols to be the better version of themselves, both on and off stage,” it said.

Unchuan was dubbed as the “Ultimate Voice Coach,” having shaped and supported so many Cebuano talents.


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