Killer of Bukidnon university teacher still at large

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/18 Nov) – One of the three suspects in the slaying of Bukidnon State University instructor Jay Jaspher Santoninio is still at large a year later.

Santoninio was robbed and stabbed to death on November 18, 2010, just meters away from their residence by three suspects. One of them is now behind bars, another reported killed, and the third still at large.

Jonally Santoninio, the victim’s father, told MindaNews today they have so far received partial justice for the slaying of his son as the main suspect, Michael Abellanosa, was arrested by National Bureau of Investigation agents eight days after the killing and is in jail after he pleaded guilty of robbery resulting to homicide.

Regional Trial Court Branch 8 Judge Pelagio Estopia sentenced Abellanosa on February 1, 2011 with reclusion perpetua or lifetime imprisonment.

One of Abellanosa’s suspected accomplices, Michael Payangga, was reported killed along with another victim earlier this year.

A third suspect, Jonex Tinggoy, has remained free and was reported to be sighted in various areas in Bukidnon, namely, in this city, in the municipality of Impasug-ong and in in Kilabong, Sumilao town.

The elder Santoninio lamented that killings in the city, even near the police station, have allegedly become common fare.

“We are no longer safe here. These perpetrators must have been emboldened by somebody or something,” he added.

He said the family was able to get about 60 percent justice so far while they pray and hope the third suspect will be placed behind bars soon.

But justice is still elusive for other victims in Bukidnon, Santoninio added.

He said his family is only one of the many families who suffered injustice. He appealed for authorities to beef up efforts to prevent criminality and find justice for the victims.

“Let [my son’s] death be an eye opener that no more parents would have to suffer the pain … we have been through to search for justice,” Santoninio said via telephone.

Jay Jaspher was a 30-year-old instructor at the then BSU College of Business Administration, Accountancy, and Information Technology (CBAAIT). (It is now called the College of Business Administration, Hospitality, and Public Governance.)

Santoninio’s family, colleagues, friends, and students attended a mass at his grave in the Shepherds Meadow in Sumpong, Malaybalay this morning to commemorate the first anniversary of his death.

Among those who attended were families of victims of still unsolved murder cases. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)