^

PNP ,movie stars raise P1-M reward for info on Nida slay

- Mike Frialde, Jaime Laude () - November 18, 2001 - 12:00am
The Philippine National Police (PNP) and members of the local movie industry raised yesterday to P1 million the reward for any vital information leading to the solution of the slaying of multi-awarded actress Nida Blanca.

This developed as a close friend of Blanca — Dorothy Jones in real life — is expected to undergo a polygraph test tomorrow at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as police have no definite suspects yet in the Nov. 7 killing.

San Juan Mayor Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito earlier offered P300,000 for information that would bring about an early solution of the case.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III, the Kapisanan ng mga Artista ng Pelikulang Pilipino and the PNP hierarchy put up an additional P700,000, bringing the reward to P1 million.

A source at the NBI said Candelaria Tantoco has volunteered to undergo a lie detector test to ultimately quash suspicions that she had something to do with Blanca’s death.

Task Force Marsha headed by Director Nestorio Gualberto has interrogated Tantoco, who admitted that she used to drive Blanca to the Casino Filipino, but pointed out that she did not do so on Nov. 6.

It was still unclear if the actress played at the casino in Parañaque City a few hours before her death as reportedly indicated by video footage taken by the surveillance camera of the state gaming facility.

Casino employees, however, maintained that Blanca went to the place on Nov. 5, not Nov. 6 as reported earlier.

Noel de la Paz, described as a distant relative of Blanca, has also told the police that he was able to trace her to the casino on the night of Nov. 6, adding a casino employee also confirmed to him by telephone that she was there, accompanied by two women and an elderly man.

In her testimony given to the police, Tantoco said she was at home the whole day of Nov. 6.

Blanca’s personal driver, Antonio Borja, has also claimed he was at home watching television with his children on Nov. 6, adding that the last time he drove for Blanca and her husband, Australian-born Rod Lauren Strunk, was on Oct. 13.

Investigators said one of the latent fingerprints lifted from Blanca’s green Nissan Sentra car belonged to Borja.

Blanca’s lifeless body was found on the back seat of her car early in the morning of Nov. 7 by security guards of the Atlanta Centre in Greenhills, San Juan where she worked as a director of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

Her body bore 13 stab wounds, five of them in the left cheek, five in the left armpit, two in the back and one below the left ear.

Forensic experts said the wounds were superficial, giving rise to suspicions that the attackers used a pocket knife.

The investigators were also poised to invite for questioning the mother of a movie starlet for more information that could possibly lead to the solution of the crime.

NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco has vowed that a breakthrough in the case, probably involving arrest, would be made either on Thursday or Friday, but it appeared that nothing significant has yet been attained by the investigators. who suddenly turned media-shy for fear of jeopardizing their inquiry.

However, Gualberto remained confident that they were on the right track in their investigation, saying the suspects have been placed under 24-hour surveillance, effectively eliminating the possibility of escape.

ANTONIO BORJA ATLANTA CENTRE BLANCA CANDELARIA TANTOCO CASINO FILIPINO DIRECTOR NESTORIO GUALBERTO DIRECTOR REYNALDO WYCOCO DOROTHY JONES MOVIE AND TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NOV
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with