Arson suspect in Tondo surrenders
Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A 48-year-old mason tagged in an arson that killed six persons, including three minors, in Tondo, Manila last week surrendered to Mayor Isko Moreno before dawn yesterday.

Eduardo Loteyro admitted that he was drunk and high on drugs when he set his mother’s house on fire along Katamanan street following a quarrel with his wife.

Loteyro, who had served time for drug charges, said he decided to surrender because he was afraid the police would kill him if they found him.

Accompanied by his aunt, the suspect turned himself in to Moreno along Natividad street at around 2 a.m.

Irate residents posted Loteyro’s picture on Facebook hours after the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) contained the blaze.

Arson investigators identified the fatalities as Jean Paul Esguerra, 42; Aquilina Habana; Odessa Conde, 36, and her children Yhexel George Nicholas, 10, Yara Courtney, 9, and Yancy Kieffer, 8. 

Among those injured were Conde’s husband George; Edith de Castro, 64; J-I Conde, 52; Eliza Loteyro, 70, and Evangeline Loteyro, 70.

Inspector John Joseph Jalique of the Manila fire department said the Condes were trapped in the burning house.

Responding firemen recovered the bodies of the Condes and Esguerra from the rubbles. Habana, who was declared missing was found dead in the toilet of her house.

The BFP said at least 20 houses were razed by the fire. Damage to property was estimated at P100,000.

During interrogation, Loteyro told police that he deliberately set his mother’s house on fire when his wife ran away after they quarreled.

The suspect also admitted that he and his wife were into drugs.

Police said charges of arson and homicide would be filed against Loteyro.

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