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Woman ‘buko’ vendor stabbed dead by drinking buddy

/ 02:13 PM November 28, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—A 24-year-old woman’s cry of surprise at being attacked with a knife by a friend led Tuesday night to the identification of her killer who repeatedly stabbed her in front of a hospital in Quezon City.

While Quezon City Police District Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit investigators had yet to establish the motive for the killing of ‘buko’ (young coconut) vendor Gemalyn Dela Cruz  of E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue in Barangay Damayang Lagi, they obtained her attacker’s identity from a witness who heard her.

Senior Police Officer 1 Joel Gagaza, case investigator, said that witness, Jonathan Viernes, heard Dela Cruz cry out, “Arthur, why did you stab me?” after she was assaulted by the suspect, who quickly fled the scene.


Dela Cruz died at the Delos Santos Medical Center while undergoing treatment for multiple stab wounds in the chest.

“Arthur,” said Gagaza, is the alias of 28-year-old Jezrill Ronquillo, who was the victim’s drinking buddy, and is now the object of a police hunt.

According to a report from the QCPD Galas station, Dela Cruz had some drinks with Ronquillo and Jomar Agutan at a videoke bar just across the street from the Quezon Institute before the stabbing, which happened at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in front of the hospital on E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue.

Station investigator Police Officer 2 Rodel Tumangday said the trio then decided to call it a night and Dela Cruz requested her companions to go with her to the hospital to visit her ailing mother, who is confined there. But several minutes later, Dela Cruz and Ronquillo left the hospital, leaving behind Agutan.

Agutan then told Tumangday that he heard that somebody had been stabbed outside the hospital compound, prompting him to find out who the victim was. It was then he saw Dela Cruz lying on her back, blood spurting from wounds on her chest, prompting him to bring her to the Delos Santos Medical Center, but the effort to save her proved futile.

Tumangday said that a bystander, who witnessed the knife attack, heard the name “Arthur” being spoken by the victim and it was Agutan who supplied investigators his full name.

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