Bulacan cops shrug-off retraction of massacre suspect

CITY OF SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan — Police officials shrug​ged​ off the retraction of Carmelino Ibanez, a construction worker now being considered as the primary suspect in the gruesome murder of five family members in North Ridge Royal Subdivison, Bgy. Sto. Cristo here last June 27, saying they will depend on the their eyewitness and results of forensic evidence.

In an interview with television reporters, Ibanez on Thursday made a complete turn-around on his earlier testimonies that he was alone when he stabbed to death victims Auring Dizon, 58; Estrella Dizon, 35, Donny Carlos y Dizon, 11; Ella Carlos y Dizon, 7; and Dexter Carlos Jr., 1 year old. Earlier, Ibanez also personally admitted to Central Luzon police regional director Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino and members of media that he was high on drugs and alcohol when ​he ​committed the crime.

However, the drug test examination on him turned out to be negative.

On Thursday, he told television reporters that police had tortured him by putting a plastic bag on his head and hammered his fingers. However, he failed to show proof of tell-tale signs of torture​.​ ​E​ven results of ​a ​medical examination ​showed ​that he was ​not ​physically harmed.

Supt. Fitz Macariola, SJDM City police chief, on Friday told members of the Bulacan Press Club, that they are already expecting Ibanez, also known as “Miling”, to contradict his earlier statements.

“Sabi niya noong una, high siya noon sa drugs. At yung pag-amin niya sa krimen, ginawa niya iyon sa harap ng nanay at ate niya at hindi siya pinilit ng pulis kaya noong may lumantad na testigo na nakakita sa kanya, kaagad naming siyang inaresto,” Macariola said.

On the allegation that he was tortured, Macariola said that since Ibanez was invited as person of interest the media has been covering everything and that medico legal examination was conducted.

“We are still awaiting the results of the forensic tests. We will rely on the findings of the crime laboratory and our eyewitness. Let the police do their work. We want an airtight case filed against him so that justice will be serve to the family and relatives of the victims​,” Macariola said.​

The SJDM city police chief added that the PNP Crime Laboratory said that the results will be released within 15 days.
Macariola also said that they have assured relatives of other persons of interest that the police will protect them.

He also said that Bulacan police director Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., has formed a team of investigators to probe the deaths of two persons of interests –Rolando Pacinos and Roosevelt Sorema, who were both killed by still unidentified assailants, one after the other, early this week.

“The police are now coordinating with the families of the other persons of interest to remove speculation that the police are out to kill them,” Caramat said.

Pacinos, also known as “Inggo​”​ and who was pinpointed by Ibanez as one of his cohorts on the day the victims were murdered, was found dead and half naked under a tree with a placard saying “Addict at rapist ako, huwag tularan​”​. A fanbelt was also tied on his neck while five of his fingers were cut.

Sorema, on the other hand, was killed when two masked men barged into their house,​ ​also at Northridge Royal Subdivision, and repeatedly shot him without warning.

Last Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte visited the wake of the victims and assured Dexter Carlos Sr., husband of Estrella and father of the ​three slain children, that justice will be served.

Macariola said that Carlos is seeking protection under the witness protection program of the Department of Justice. –Emil G. Gamos