MANILA, Philippines - Two pedicab drivers were arrested yesterday for raping and killing a seven-year-old girl in Sta. Mesa, Manila Friday morning.
A team led by Senior Police Officer 2 Eduardo Cabal nabbed 19-year-old Cecilio Bacolo and Roderick Soliveres, 28, on Fabie street in Paco after a witness tagged them in the death of Arnieca Abando, a grade one pupil at the F. Ma. Guerrero Elementary School.
Bacolo and Soliveres “apparently didn’t look like they were bothered by their conscience. We first arrested Bacolo, who pointed at his cohort’s whereabouts. They didn’t resist arrest,” Senior Police Officer 1 Charles Duran said.
Arnieca’s half-naked body was found on the fourth floor of a house on Pat Antonio street in Sta. Mesa, with a nylon cord looped around her neck. Investigators said there were ligature marks on her neck, lacerations on her body and blood on her genitals. The two men admitted to raping and killing the girl.
Bacolo said Soliveres had been eyeing the child for some time and was actually looking for a chance to at least fondle her. He said that at around 7:30 a.m. Friday, he agreed to take Soliveres to Arnieca’s house, just a stone’s throw away from his, after his friend told him he would give the girl some food.
The two took the child with them, rode a jeep to Sta. Mesa and headed straight to the house, owned by Soliveres’ friend, on Pat Antonio street.
Bacolo said he left Soliveres and Arnieca in a room and when he returned, he saw the girl was naked from the waist down, tied by her wrists and gagged. He said he believed his companion had just raped the girl, so he took his turn.
After Bacolo was done, he said Soliveres came back with a nylon cord and strangled the girl. They then left the house and headed back to Paco.
A witness, Riza Escoto, said she saw the two men and the girl heading up to the fourth floor of the house between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. She said she saw the men go out of the house about two hours later without the girl.
Arnieca’s body was discovered at around 9:20 p.m., nearly 12 hours later, when the owner of the house arrived.
Investigators are checking police records to determine if there are pending cases against the two men, who are alleged members of the Sigue-Sigue Sputnik jailhouse gang. - By Rey Galupo