Cops arrest 2 suspects in killing of Ateneo grad student
MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Police have arrested two suspects in the killing of Ateneo de Manila University graduate student Francis de Leon in Marikina City, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said on Wednesday, December 5.
Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar, NCRPO director, announced the arrest of the suspects in a news briefing with Marikina City Police chief Senior Superintendent Roger Quesada and Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro.
Eleazar identified one of the suspects as Jayvee "Diablo" Santos, 24. Santos, who was presented to the media, admitted during the news briefing that he was a convicted robber who had been out of jail for 4 months after serving a prison term.
The other suspect was not named, being a minor. The 16-year-old boy was turned over to the Marikina Social Welfare Department.
Santos was arrested at a checkpoint in Barangay Apitong in Marikina, while the minor was arrested in his house in Barangay Tumana in a separate operation.
Quesada said 3 people were involved in the crime. One suspect was still at large.
The 23-year-old De Leon, believed to be a robbery victim, was found dead with stab wounds just minutes away from his home in Barangay Concepcion, Marikina City, on December 1.
The suspects were apprehended after a witness identified them, Eleazar said.
The witness, who was presented to the media but wore a face mask and a cap to conceal his identity, claimed that he was supposed to be part of the robbery, but he got spooked by a roving police car.
He also claimed that Santos offered him a Samsung phone – which police believed belonged to De Leon – but he did not buy it.
Santos, tagged by Eleazar as the leader of the group, denied the allegations and said he had witnesses who could testify before the court that he was in Barangay Sta Barbara in San Mateo, Rizal, when the incident happened.
Eleazar claimed that Santos had already admitted to the crime when he was arrested, and was just singing a different tune because he was in front of the media.
The suspects were arrested a day after the Marikina mayor offered a P500,000-reward for any information that would lead to the arrest of the suspects.
The Marikina mayor said he would give the reward to the witness and that he planned to institutionalize the reward system in the city.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday strongly condemned the killing and expressed its condolences to the family of De Leon, who had worked for the department.
Before the victim pursued graduate studies at ADMU, De Leon worked for over a year at the Department of Education's Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS).
"DepEd deplores the tragic loss of such a young life and earnestly seeks that the long arm of the law will immediately lead to the arrest of the perpetrator/s," DepEd said in a statement. – With a report from Rambo Talabong/Rappler.com