PNP to review handling of Bulacan massacre probe

By Cecille Suerte Felipe

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) will review the investigation of the Bulacan police into the killing of a family of five in San Jose del Monte.

“We will check how (the Bulacan and San Jose del Monte police) conducted the investigation from the time they responded at the crime scene…up to the filing of cases….We will check if the police conducted the investigation according to the standards required by the national headquarters,” Augusto Marquez, chief of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), told The STAR yesterday.

Marquez said probers face criminal and administrative charges in case there was a cover-up or obstruction of justice.

“This is why we developed a crime incident recording and analysis system…to follow up investigations. They cannot overlook the process in the investigation,” he said.

Marquez said the DIDM is tasked to monitor whether police units adhered to the standard operating procedure in investigations.

“We review cases, especially those that are sensational or heinous… If there are loopholes…we file complaints,” Marquez said.

Auring Dizon, 58; her daughter Estrella Carlos, 35, and Carlos’ children Donny, 11; Ella, 7, and Dexter Jr., 1, were found dead with multiple stab wounds at their house in Barangay Sto. Cristo on June 27.

The case was considered closed with the arrest of Carmelino Ibañes, who tagged Rolando Pacinos, alias Ing-go, and Anthony Sorema, alias Tony, who were later found dead, as his accomplices.   

Ibañes initially admitted the crime, but retracted his statement, saying he was tortured into making a confession.

New witnesses

Meanwhile, Superintendent Fitz Macariola, San Jose del Monte police chief, said they are still looking for witnesses who can identify Ibañes’ accomplices.

Macariola said the two witnesses who recently surfaced claimed hearing the screams of the victims, but did not see the assailants.

He said there is strong reason to believe that Ibañes did not act alone, citing DNA tests which showed that the knife recovered at the crime scene tested positive only for four of the victims.

Macariola said it is possible that another murder weapon was used. – With Ramon Efren Lazaro, Ric Sapnu

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