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Suspect in murder of three nursing grads in Caloocan surrenders
Probers identified the fatalities as Mona Ismael, 22; Glydel Belonio, 28, and Arjay Belencio, both nursing graduates.
STAR/ File

Suspect in murder of three nursing grads in Caloocan surrenders

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - October 8, 2020 - 6:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — A man suspected to be among those behind the murder of three nursing students in Caloocan City in late September had voluntarily on Thursday, the Quezon City Police District said. 

In a statement sent to reporters, QCPD disclosed that Ronald Cajepe, a 38-year-old construction worker and a native of Green Valley Baguio City, voluntarily surrendered himself to elements of Quezon City police at the Batasan Police Station at around 12:10 p.m. and confessed to his participation in the murder.

Cajepe, police said, was "bothered by his conscience which prompted him to surrender," after which his sister approached Police Maj. Sandie Caparroso, deputy station commander at Batasan.

According to earlier reports, the neighbors of Mona Ismael, 22 and Glydel Belonio, 28; and nursing student Arjay Belencio, 22, found the three all dead with stab wounds at a house in Amparo, Caloocan City last September 26.

The grisly murders initially left cops looking at revenge and robbery as possible motives behind the killing after the ATM cards of the three were ruled missing from the crime scene.  

In an interview over 24 Oras, Police Brig. Gen. Ronnie Ylagan, Northern Police District chief, disclosed that four construction workers were taken in as persons of interest in the aftermath of the killings. 

According to the report released to reporters by the QCPD public information office, Cajepe was quoted as telling cops, “Akala ko ay magnanakaw lang kami ng mga kasamahan ko pero dahil nakilala sila ng mga biktima ay pinatay nila yung tatlo.”

(I thought my accomplices and I were just going to steal from them, but because one of the victims recognized them, we killed the three.) 

He has since been turned over to Caloocan City Police Station for proper disposition.

For his part, Police Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo said: “It is fortunate that the suspect surrendered, mas makabubuti yung ginawang pag-surrender ng akusado upang mabigyan siya ng pagkakataon na harapin sa korte ang kasong isinampa laban sa kanya."

(It would be better for the accused to surrender to give him a chance to face the case filed against him in court.) 

Figures from the Joint Task Force COVID Shield—the quarantine enforcement arm of the government's coronavirus task force—show that the crime index in the country as a whole went down by 46% since the enhanced community quarantine was hoisted on March 17, compared to the 205-day period preceding that. 

Over the pandemic, though, murder, homicide and rape only went down by 20%, 24%, and 22%, respectively, marking the three lowest decreases among the eight focus crimes tracked by the national police, which include robbery (60% decrease), theft (59%) and physical injury (38%). 

JOINT TASK FORCE COVID SHIELD JTF CV SHIELD PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PNP QCPD QUEZON CITY POLICE DISTRICT
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