MANILA, Philippines—A policeman and a member of a community watch face murder charges in connection with the killing of an out-of-school youth whose body was found on a vacant lot in Quezon City.
Charged with murder at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office are Senior Police Officer 1 Ernesto Halili of the Batasan police station and Eduardo Bodoso, a member of the community watch (barangay tanod) in Barangay Payatas B.
The two were implicated in the killing of Jefferson delos Santos, 17, who was snatched on the night of April 10 by four men and then found the next day on the vacant lot in Barangay Payatas that was owned by Banco Filipino and where the boy had been helping a local businessman grow and harvest vegetables.
Case investigator PO2 Anthony Tejerero said Halili and Bodoso, along with two others, were seen near the crime scene by the victim’s parents as they were searching for their son shortly after they were informed that the boy had been abducted.
Ricardo and Evelyn, the boy’s parents, recalled that they went to the area near the vacant lot where Delos Santos was abducted. The parents claimed seeing four men, including Halili and Bodoso walking away from the lot.
But when the Delos Santos couple asked the men if they saw the victim, the four men simply ignored them. Tejerero said the parents knew the two suspects as they all lived in the same community.
The teenager was snatched by four men on the night of April 10 in full view of his boss, Ariel Concepcion, who sold vegetables for a living. Concepcion said he and the victim had just come from the lot to harvest some vegetables for sale.
The two were aboard Concepcion’s jeep when four men blocked the vehicle and dragged Delos Santos away.
The body was found at 5:50 a.m. the next day by his mother, Evelyn, who had been searching for him.
Tejerero noted that Delos Santos died of blows to the head and stab wounds in the chest.
A screw driver, which is still being examined for traces of blood, was recovered near the boy’s body.