The suspect behind the gruesome massacre of a family in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan was high on drugs and was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crime, a Philippine National Police official said Thursday.
Carmelino Navarro Ibañes of Negros Occidental, 26, single, and a construction worker, was arrested by the San Jose del Monte Police at around 6 p.m. Wednesday.
C/Supt. Aaron Aquino, director of PNP Region 3, at a press conference said the suspect confessed to the crime in front of his mother.
Aquino said Ibañes was on his way home Tuesday when he claimed to have heard a voice telling him to enter the house of security guard Dexter Carlos in North Ridge Royal Subdivision in San Jose del Monte.
Inside the house, he stabbed to death five people: Auring Dizon, 58; her daughter Estrella Dizon, 28; and Estrella’s children Donnie, 11; Ella, 7 and Dexter Jr., 1.
Prior to the crime, the suspect took shabu and drank alcohol with friends, Aquino said.
“When you mix alcohol with shabu, it’s very dangerous. That’s the worst… ang kalalabasan,” said Aquino.
The police official said the suspect first saw Auring, who was sleeping downstairs, and stabbed her 32 times before raping her.
When her daughter, Estrella — who rushed down from the second floor to check the commotion — saw what the suspect had done, she ran away but the man gave chase, stabbed her 45 times, then raped her.
This was why Estrella’s body was found outside the house. Aquino said the suspect confessed to raping Auring and Estrella when they were already dead, but insisted he has no feelings toward the younger Dizon.
“Thrusting a knife to a person 45 times, the other one 32 times is an act of an evil person,” the police official said.
As for the children, the suspect went upstairs and stabbed them upon hearing a commotion they caused.
Aquino said the eldest child sustained 15 stab wounds, the girl had 19 stab wounds, while the one-year-old had five stab wounds.
“Immediately after committing the crime, he went out of the house with blood-stained hands and shirt,” Aquino said.
“Sakto may naglalakad pauwi… 3 a.m. He saw the suspect with bloodstained hands,” Aquino said.
“Hindi taga roon ang witness. Napadaan lang siya dahil pauwi na,” he added.
“When the suspect was presented in front of her mother and sister, nag-appeal yung mother and sister (niya for him) to tell the truth. Doon na siya nagsabi na pinatay niya ang buong pamilya,” Aquino said.
Authorities said the suspect lives two blocks from the victims’ residence, and used to fetch water from their water pump.
Asked if he had accomplices, the suspect said he could no longer recall, but might have probably committed the murders all by himself.
“Paulit-ulit ko kasing tinatanong sa kanya, sino kasama mo when the crime is being committed. Pero hindi niya maalala. Pero sabi niya, sir, mukhang ako lang ang nandoon at nag-commit ng crime,” said Aquino.
Police, however, are also considering Ibañez’s friends, a certain Leonard and Tony, as persons of interest. Prior to the murders, Ibañez said he had a drinking spree with his friends, an alias Inggo and alias Tony. The three also took illegal drugs.
Asked if the suspect was trying to cover up for his friends and was merely taking the sole blame, Aquinos said: “I don’t think so. Sinabi ko sa kanya iyan. Kailangan mo bang pagtakpan ang kasama mo at papayag ka bang ikaw ang makulong? Eh hindi. So sa tingin ko siya lang.”
The police official, however, admitted “inconsistencies” in Ibañez’s statements, and vowed to pursue the investigation to determine if he had accomplices in the murders.
“May words siya na medyo kwestyonable katulad ng ‘parang’ at sabi niya na hindi ko maalala kung may kasama ako sa ganitong lugar,” said Aquino. He said investigators would also look into the possibility that at least two knives had been used on the victims.
Physical evidence collected from the crime scene, like hair strands, the victims’ fingernail clippings, and vocal and vaginal swabs, are still being tested to determine if the suspect had accomplices.
Still, Aquino said it was possible for a lone assailant to carry out the murder and overpower the victims, given that they were women and children, with no man in the house at the time of the incident.
Despite his admissions, the suspect will still have to execute an extrajudicial confession with the help of a legal counsel, according to Aquino. Ibañez will be temporarily detained at the local police station, and could be transferred to the provincial jail once charges are filed.
Aquino said the suspects take drugs on a daily basis, proving that despite the Duterte administration’s intensified anti-drug war, illegal narcotics in Bulacan, according to the police official, remain “talamak.”
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