Father of slain college instructor in Malaybalay files complaint vs. suspects

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/05 December) – A complaint has been filed before the City Prosecutor’s Office against the suspects in the killing of Bukidnon State University instructor Jaspher Jay Santo Nino.

Jonally Santo Nino, father of the victim filed a complaint of robbery with homicide on November 30 after the National Bureau of Investigation captured one of the two suspects, Michael Macana Abellanosa, and recommended prosecution.

The identity of the second suspect has been withheld pending arrest.

In his sworn statement to Special investigator Noel Q. Balighot of the NBI Northern Mindanao regional office, Abellanosa confessed to robbing, hacking, and stabbing the victim together with the other suspect on November 18.

Abellanosa reportedly told NBI operatives he was 19. But he was actually only 17.

The victim’s father said City Prosecutor Carlo Mejia told him that the case can progress even if the suspect was only 17 years old [at the time of the alleged crime] because he has discernment in previous cases.

Abellanosa has reportedly been in and out of police detention at least 10 times already, disqualifying him from enjoying the protection offered to minors under the Juvenile Delinquency Law.

In an en banc resolution dated Nov. 24, 2009 (Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law), the Supreme Court defines discernment as “the capacity of the child at the time of the commission of the offense to understand the differences between right and wrong and the consequences of the wrongful act.”

The same resolution states: “Age of criminal responsibility is the age when a child, fifteen (15) years and one (1) day old or above but below eighteen (18) years of age, commits an offense with discernment.”

Story of a crime

Abellanosa narrated that before the crime, he and the other suspect had a drinking spree with other gang mates in a disco bar along Magsaysay Street.

When they went out of the bar, they strolled along Pimentel Street until they rested at a closed sari-sari store. While resting, Jay Jaspher Santo Nino passed by alone.

The suspects approached him and asked that he turn over his cellular phone and Ipod. But Santo Nino resisted, prompting Abellanosa to hack him in the neck. The other suspect reportedly stabbed the victim several times.

A companion of the suspects’, who later turned witness, allegedly came to help the victim but the other suspect reportedly stabbed the victim one more time.

The suspects took the victim’s Ipod, cellular phone, and P1,500 cash and ATM card. They then proceeded to Jerab’s where they continued drinking.

After that, they went to a local buyer to sell the Ipod and another buyer to sell the cellular phone.

At 6a.m., the two suspects requested two female friends to accompany them to the Land Bank of the Philippines ATM machine. In their sworn statements, the two friends said Abellanosa told them his mother told him to withdraw cash. But the ATM card was captured after he entered a wrong personal identification number several times.

Story of the capture

On November 22, the NBI acted on Santo Nino’s request for investigation. NBI operatives dug up “until names of possible perpetrators surfaced.”

According to Atty. Jose Justo Yap, acting regional director of NBI 10, their verification revealed that Abellanosa has an outstanding warrant of arrest for murder issued by Judge Pelagio Estopia of Regional Trial Court Branch 8.

He added that NBI operatives found in the suspect’s possession a 30-centimeter bolo, believed to be the weapon used in the crime.

The person who bought the Apple Ipod turned over the gadget to police the day after the crime.

Abellanosa’s statement also said that they were “assets” of a Bukidnon policeman who allegedly used them for illegal activities and for promotion purposes. He said they were threatened to be killed if they will expose his illegal activities.

A suspect turned witness called “MP” concurred with the statement of the two female friends who joined the two suspects in their attempt to withdraw money using the victim’s ATM card.

The NBI recommendation for prosecution said Abellanosa has escaped from the Child Rehabilitation Center in Gingoog City.

On December 4, Malaybalay police chief Erwin Bayani Meneses told reporters Santo Nino’s cellular phone was recovered. It was reportedly sold to a local buyer.

Santo Nino’s father confirmed the report but said “we are more interested in the capture [alive] of the other suspect who is still at large.” (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)