Police link drug syndicate to killing of young Cebu couple
MANILA, Philippines – The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas linked to a local drug group the killing of a teenager and her boyfriend Tuesday, July 24, in Lilo-an, Cebu.
In a Facebook live stream by Cebu Daily News Friday, July 27, PRO 7 director Chief Superintendent Debold Menorias Sinas said in the media briefing that 16-year-old Jamie Mata and her 27-year-old boyfriend Stephen del Corro may have been killed by drug dealers.
“Our investigation now is geared on the drug activities of the guy, including the girl as well,” Sinas said in a mix of English and Cebuano.
However, Sinas said cops are having difficulty finding willing witnesses. “They (the couple) are linked to one group, that we have a strong evidence. But the problem is nobody wants to be a witness. Nobody wants to say anything to what really happened.”
The bodies of Mata and Del Corro were found in separate locations Tuesday morning in Barangay San Roque, Liloan.
Mata had two gunshot wounds in her head. Del Corro was riddled with bullets. Police reports said Mata was a Grade 9 student of Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. Memorial National High School in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.
Prior to uncovering the link to the illegal drug trade, police were looking at two angles – a lover’s quarrel, or the involvement of Del Corro’s fraternity. He was a member of the Alpha Kappa Rho or Akrho.
Sinas said Friday they have thrown out both angles.
“I’d like to ask the forgiveness of the Akhro Fraternity. We weren't trying to ruin their reputation but that's part of the investigation. We have now eliminated the fraternity as part of the motives,” Sinas said.
“[This] is how we investigate,” he added. “We check everything. Now the love quarrel, we have also eliminated. We are now focusing on the drug aspect.”
Sinas did not specify which drug group was involved. He also said that the two victims were not in the drug watch list.
Sinas also said there was strong evidence that the victims were killed in different area, but “just disposed” in Lilo-an. – Rappler.com
*Translations of Cebuano quotes by Nile Villa.