Witness saw 22-year-old call-center agent acting oddly before disappearance
MANILA — Lorenzo Peña, the call center agent whose body was found floating in the basement of an unfinished building in Makati City last Monday, appeared out of nowhere and then behaved oddly before his mysterious disappearance, the daughter of the building caretaker told police.
Peña appeared to have cleaned his ears, tried on a pair of sunglasses and took a padlock lying on the table when he entered the premises of the building last Friday.
This was according to Regine Dioleste, daughter of Percival Dioleste, the building’s caretaker. They were both invited by the Makati City police to give their formal statements and shed light on the events last Friday night (June 24) when Peña supposedly “trespassed” in the property.
Peña’s body, found on Monday three days after he was last seen by family and friends, was cremated in the Evergreen Chapel and Crematory (formerly Arlington Pasig) on Wednesday.
The body was discovered by his father Arthur Peña, floating facedown in floodwaters on the fifth level basement of the building on No. 3 Hernandez Street, Barangay San Lorenzo.
The Diolestes were considered “persons of interest” as witnesses to what happened before Peña went missing and later turned up dead, case investigator SPO2 Rico Caramat told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Makati police are still waiting for the autopsy report to determine whether there was foul play.
Regine Dioleste, 23, a mall cashier, said she was alone and cooking dinner at the kitchen at the back of the stockroom when she heard someone enter the compound. Sheets of galvanized iron roof served as fence and gate of the property owned by Dr. Vinson Pineda of DermPharma.
Seeing a man in long sleeves, she thought he was an employee that was going to get something from the stockroom so she returned to the kitchen at the back. She was frightened when she heard the man throwing things around inside the stockroom.
Regine ran toward the dark end of the building to hide and she saw the man go to the kitchen. She took the stairs and went down the other way to seek help from the security guard of a gym across the building.
Together with the village Bantay Bayan, they searched the area but found no one. Regine texted her father who was in Iloilo and her brother who was working as security guard.
When her brother Reagan arrived, they searched the place again and found Peña’s company ID on the kitchen table. The ID was covered with egg. Peña appeared to have thrown around their eggs, too.
Two used cotton buds were on the kitchen table. The position of the pair of sunglasses placed in front of a mirror changed. And a calendar hanging on the wall was taken down.
In the stockroom, a mirror was shattered and a sack of rice was spilled.
Reagan called the emergency contact person in the ID at 10:42 p.m. informing the family that Peña entered the building without permission.
On Saturday, Peña’s brother called Regine. They called again on Sunday but Regine wasn’t able to answer immediately because she was at work.
Percival Dioleste arrived early Monday and pumped out some of the floodwaters as part of building maintenance.
The water had gone down when Peña’s family arrived and another search was conducted during which Peña’s body was found.
Together with his personal belongings, the padlock and key of the caretaker’s room were found in his pockets. SFM
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