MANILA, Philippines--Philip Medel, one of the prime suspects in the brutal murder of actress Nida Blanca, died Wednesday night at the Pasig City General Hospital.
Dr. Alan Custodio of the PCGH said Medel died at 8:45 p.m. of sepsis secondary to pneumonia two days after he was taken to the hospital by jail officials.
?The BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology) men said he had been weak for two weeks, and would refuse to eat,? Custodio told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.
He said Medel was no longer responsive when he arrived in the hospital. ?We could no longer understand what he was saying,? he said.
Medel, a confessed killer, implicated Blanca?s husband Rod Strunk in her murder, claiming he had hired Medel to kill the veteran actress, but Medel later recanted this confession, saying he had been tortured by the police.
Blanca was bludgeoned and stabbed to death on Nov. 6, 2001 in the parking lot of Atlanta Center in Greenhills, San Juan City.
Strunk left for the US in 2002 to visit his ailing mother, Helen Strunk, before he could be charged. He never returned to the Philippines.
Murder charges were eventually filed against him but he successfully evaded extradition from the US after Medel recanted his statement implicating Strunk.
Strunk died in July 2007 after falling from a two-story inn in Tracy, California in what the police there ruled a suicide.