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Metro

Suspect in toddler’s rape-slay falls

Non Alquitran - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - After four months in hiding, a man accused of raping and killing an 11-month-old girl in San Juan City last Aug. 1 was arrested in Mandaluyong City yesterday.

Arnel Tumbali was selling peanuts in front of a hotel at the corner of EDSA and Sultan street when members of the San Juan and Mandaluyong police caught him at past noon yesterday.

Tumbali, a native of Cagayan, admitted to raping Geralyn Cortez, claiming he was drunk at the time.

San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez and a concerned citizen have offered a P200,000 reward for Tumbali’s capture.

San Juan police chief Senior Superintendent Ariel Arcinas said a certain Jerry Constantino tipped off officials of Barangay Highway Hills on the presence of Tumbali in front of the hotel.

Constantino said he recognized Tumbali from the photos flashed on television news programs.

Tumbali, a former worker of a car repair shop in Barangay Tibagan, San Juan, was caught by a closed-circuit television camera taking the toddler away from her sleeping parents and walking away on the night of Aug. 1.

Cortez’s body was found under a parked jeepney along Don Ejercito street in the same barangay by the jeepney’s driver, who was cleaning his vehicle.

A medico-legal report showed the toddler had been raped and beaten to death.

The San Juan police filed rape with homicide charges against Tumbali with the city’s prosecutor’s office. Judge Cesar Sulit, of the San Juan City Regional Trial Court Branch 162 issued a warrant for Tumbali’s arrest.

Sulit refused bail for Tumbali.

Tumbali told Arcinas he was not aware he was wanted by the law and denied going into hiding. He said he sold peanuts in San Juan, Mandaluyong and Pasig to support himself.

ARNEL TUMBALI

BARANGAY HIGHWAY HILLS

BARANGAY TIBAGAN

DON EJERCITO

GERALYN CORTEZ

JERRY CONSTANTINO

JUAN

JUDGE CESAR SULIT

SAN

SAN JUAN

TUMBALI

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