SOCO: The twisted truth

Posted at 01/14/11 6:03 PM

Chairs and tables in disarray. Floor covered with blood. This was the scene that greeted the Makati City police inside an ink refilling station in Magsaysay Street, Barangay Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City on July 26, 2010.

“Doon pa lang sa main door, nagkalat na ‘yong dugo,” Police Officer 2 Emelson Madronio tells ABS-CBN SOCO. “Makikita mo talaga na brutal ‘yong ginawa doon sa mga biktima.”

Upon searching the shop, they recovered 2 kitchen knives which they suspected were the murder weapons.

How could two ordinary knives create such a bloody chaos? And who could’ve committed such a gruesome crime?

The crime scene. The floor of the ink refill shop was covered with blood when the authorities arrived. 

Conflicting statements

Further into the investigation, the authorities discovered that the shop was missing P100,000 worth of cash and 2 mobile phones leading them to believe that robbery was the motive.

According to the shop’s owner, Delfin Hernando, there were 2 victims—his brother Romeo Hernando who was also the shop manager, and his niece Eden Aganon. They were both rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, Delfin, who sustained 20 stab wounds, was declared dead on arrival. Eden, meanwhile, was stabbed 7 times and was in critical condition.

Dead on arrival. The victim (leftmost )sustained 20 stab wounds.

The authorities almost reached a dead end when they noticed that there was a woman near the crime scene. Her face was botched with tears and she was trembling. She was identified as one Jocelyn Canque. 

Being the only one present at the crime scene, the authorities considered Jocelyn as the primary witness.

According to Jocelyn, she was a regular customer at the ink refilling station.

On the day of the robbery, she and her 7-year-old son were inside the shop. While one of the victims, Delfin, was changing the printer cartridge, two men allegedly walked in and declared a hold-up. In her panic, Jocelyn quickly ran away from the store leaving her son behind. And when she looked back, she saw that the robbers have already grabbed her son.

Jocelyn said she didn’t know who the robbers were but she could identify their faces.

Further into the questioning, though, the authorities began noticing inconsistencies in her statements.

If at first Jocelyn said that she left her son behind, later on, she said her son voluntarily joined the suspects. Then they also noticed suspicious wounds on her hands. Jocelyn explained that she was trying to stop the suspects from stabbing the victims—contrary to her initial statement that she immediately left the shop.

The confession

The authorities grilled Jocelyn some more. Eventually, her resolve broke and she admitted to being part of the crime. “According sa kanya, wala raw sa plano ‘yong pagsaksak,” PO2 Madronio says. “Tatakutin lang nila, kukunin ‘yong pera, pero ‘yong pagpatay, wala raw sa plano nila.”

Jocelyn insisted that she had no part in the murder and that her accomplices were the ones who stabbed the victims. She identified them as Joey Hernandez, 23 years old, and his girlfriend Jonna May Nebreja, 17 years old. According to Jocelyn, both of them were residing in Binan, Laguna.

The authorities immediately proceeded to arrest the 2 suspects. But as it turns out, Joey and Jonna May were already under the custody of the Binan Police after being arrested for snatching. With them was Jocelyn’s son. Jocelyn positively identified the two and took back her son.

The suspects. (L-R) Joey Hernandez, Jonna May Nebreja, and Jocelyn Canque.

The truth, finally

At the same time, Eden, the other victim, has miraculously survived. The authorities brought the 3 suspects to the hospital and showed them to Eden who positively identified them.

According to Eden, on the day of the robbery, Jocelyn and her son entered the ink refill shop. After talking to his uncle, the 2 left. When they returned, they were already accompanied by Joey and Jonna who were both armed with knives.

“Nagulat po ako, kaya una kong ginawa, tumayo po ako,” Eden recalls. “Sasabihin ko dapat ‘Anong nangyayari?’ kaso di ko na natapos kasi diretso saksak na sila sa akin. Kung ‘di po ako nagkakamali, leeg po ‘yong una [tinamaan].”

Eden didn’t think she would live. But she did. Not only to tell the authorities what happened but also that Jocelyn was lying. Apparently, she also took part in the stabbing.

The truth, finally. The victim, Eden Agon, positively identifies the three as the suspects who stabbed her and her uncle, Romeo Hernando.

With Eden’s testimony, Jocelyn Canque, Joey Hernandez, and Jonna May Nebreja were all charged with robbery with homicide and frustrated homicide. But because Jonna was a minor, she was turned over to Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Jocelyn and Joey, meanwhile, are currently detained at the Makati City Jail.

ABS-CBN SOCO was able to interview Joey. He denied all the allegations and insisted that it was Jocelyn who masterminded the whole crime.

But Eden stood by her statement with conviction. “Ang hirap pong kalimutan nooung ginawa nila lalo na’t may marka ‘yong ginawa nila at buhay ang kinuha nila,” she says.

And while her wounds and her family’s pain may not totally heal, they pray that justice, at least, for their loved one will prevail. “Sa akin, ‘yong pera, hindi ‘yon ‘yong habol ko eh. ‘Yong pera kasi mahahanap pa natin ‘yan, pero ‘yong buhay hindi na. Sabi ko sana kinuha na lang nila ‘yong pera hindi na sana nila pinatay ‘yong kapatid ko,” Delfin says. “Kailangan ma-convict sila. ‘Yong ginawa nila sa kapatid ko, babayaran nila habang buhay.”