Burning car linked to 4 slain in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 11 July) —  Police on Sunday linked a burning Kia Picanto car abandoned Friday night in Naawan town, Misamis Oriental to the killing of four persons,  two of them boys aged six and 15. Their bodies were found hours later in Villanueva town, also in in Misamis Oriental.  

Lt. Col. Michelle Olaivar, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police regional office, said investigators believe the victims were on board the white Kia Picanto car in Iligan City before they were abducted and brought to Naawan town in Misamis Oriental.

Olaivar said the four persons were found dead around 4 a.m. Saturday in Purok 9, Barangay Imelda, Villanueva town, some 91 kilometers east of Naawan town.

Olaivar said police in Naawan found the burning car with plate number KAB 2194 around 8 p.m. in Purok 7, Barangay Linangkayan in Naawan town.

“Our investigators are sure that the victims were on board this car in Iligan City when they were abducted and brought to Naawan,” she said.

Police in Misamis Oriental identified the four victims only by their nicknames: Mark, a 15-year-old Meranaw from Iligan City; “Miller,” a six-year-old Meranaw; “Noel Jr.,” the driver; and “Joy,” reportedly a debt collector from Initao, Misamis Oriental.

A witness, whose name has been withheld by the police for security reasons, said he was driving home around 11:30 p.m. Friday when he saw a dead body sprawled on the road in Barangay Imelda, Villanueva town.

In a radio interview, the witness claimed he saw three other persons gathered around the dead body, but sped away out of fear that he will be harmed if he stop to extend help. 

The witness said he was rattled and reported the incident to the police only at around 4 a.m. Saturday. 

Returning immediately to the scene with the police, the witness said they found not just one but four bullet-riddled bodies lying lifeless on the road.

Olaivar said the hands of all the victims were tied with wires and their mouths covered with duct tapes.

She said five empty caliber .45 shells and three caliber 9mm shells were found from the crime scene. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)