Another man linked to Bulacan slays killed
CITY OF SAN JOSE DEL MONTE — A second “person of interest” in the June 27 murder of five members of a family here, three of them children, was shot and killed by armed men on Wednesday, the day the victims were buried here.
Armed men, who were wearing ski masks, broke into the house of Rosevelt Sorema at North Ridge Royale Subdivision here at 11 a.m. and shot him. Sorema died while he was being taken to Grace Hospital in Barangay Gaya-gaya here.
Supt. Fitz Macariola, city police chief, said Sorema, also known as “Ponga,” was one of seven people who the police invited for questioning on the murder of Estrella Carlos, her three children and her mother in their house at the subdivision.
A construction worker, Carmelino Ibañez, 26, initially confessed to the murders and was detained on June 28.
Ibañez earlier told police that he was drunk and high on drugs when he attacked the victims. He, however, tested negative for drug use.
Ibañez implicated two men, among them Rolando Pacinos, who was found dead on Palmera Drive here on Tuesday morning. Pacinos, known in the neighborhood as “Inggo,” was found under a tree, strapped with a placard that described him as a “killer and rapist.”
The police are investigating the killings of Sorema and Pacinos.
Sorema was attacked at the same time a funeral Mass was held for the victims at St. Joseph Parish Church here.
During the Mass, Dexter Carlos, a bank security guard and husband of Estrella, said he wanted justice for the victims and urged the government to restore the death penalty.
“I ask President Duterte to bring back the death penalty, and when he does, to start by executing my family’s killers. I ask the police to intensify their investigation so the culprits would soon be caught and punished,” Carlos said in Filipino.
Mr. Duterte visited the victims’ wake on Tuesday.
“Please pray for me and help me stay strong so I can get justice for my family members because that is all I know I can do for them. I failed to protect them from their killers,” he said before he broke into tears in front of the coffins of Estrella, his children Donnie, Ella and Dexter Jr., and his mother-in-law, Auring Dizon.
The Mass and burial were attended by more than 1,000 friends, relatives and neighbors, who wore white shirts that bore the messages, “Justice for Lola Auring, Estrella, Donnie, Ella and Dexter Jr.,” “Ibalik ang death penalty (Restore the death penalty),” and “Say no to drugs.”
Glory Dizon, elder sister of Estrella, said their Davao City-based mother was on vacation here when the family was attacked early morning on June 27.
Dizon said executing the killers would not be enough to pay for their crimes. “The truth must come out and the suspects should surrender now. When that happens, justice would have been served,” she said in Filipino.
In a speech at the funeral Mass, Carlos said: “Is God angry at me? Was this my punishment? Or does it open our eyes and mind to the fact that there are snakes in the city and the forests which test our faith. Or maybe it shows us how illegal drugs destroy people and my family was sacrificed?”
In his homily, Rev. Fr. Arvin Ray Jimenez, assistant parish priest, also addressed the drug plague. “Let us reflect. It could be our failures that allowed drugs and crimes to proliferate in our society,” he said.
“Evil triumphs when good men do nothing,” he added.
Dizon said Carlos planned to leave the house where his family was murdered. She said the house belonged to an aunt based in Italy. —Carmela Reyes-Estrope
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.