CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna ,Philippines – A security guard and a farm caretaker tagged as the principal suspects in the rape-slay of a 14-year-old sampaguita vendor last Feb. 29 in Los Baños town are now in police custody.
Senior Superintendent Gilbert Cruz, Laguna police director, identified the arrested suspects as farm caretaker Alberto Sigue, 30, and security guard Fredolin Presenta, 51, residents of Barangays Batong Malake and Tuntungin in Los Baños, respectively.
Cruz said three witnesses positively identified Sigue and Presenta as the last persons seen with the victim a day before she was found dead.
Cruz said the two suspects gave themselves up peacefully when they were cornered by elements of the Laguna Special Operation Task Group headed by Chief Inspector Vic Cabatingan, at around 7 p.m. Thursday in a farm in Barangay Tuntungin, Los Baños.
Cruz said the policemen found bloodstains on bamboo poles in the suspects’ hideout.
He said charges of rape and murder will be filed against the suspects before the Calamba City prosecutor’s office.
According to Cabatingan, they studied and reviewed all information related to the case and later discovered that Sigue and Presenta were “missing” in their barangays.
“The suspects disappeared when the rape-slay case came out,” Cruz told The STAR.
Police earlier had invited at least 10 other people for questioning but later had to release them due to lack of evidence, Cabatingan said.
Seven of them, including the owner and caretaker of a house near a grassy lot in Barangay Batong Malake where the victim’s body was found last Feb. 29, were subjected to DNA tests. - By Ed Amoroso