Suspect in Baguio massacre identified

Posted at 04/08/14 11:14 AM

MANILA – The police have identified a suspect in the brutal killing of five people, including three minors, in Baguio City last Sunday.

In an interview on dzMM, Senior Superintendent Rolando Miranda, Baguio City Police director, identified the suspect as Philip Tolentino Avino.

Miranda said Avino, also known in the city as Michael Geronimo, was seen entering the house of the Nociete family before the bodies of the victims were discovered on Sunday.

Stabbed dead were Dave de Guzman, 7; Raymond Delmendo, 8; Joey Nociete Jr., 9; Jacquelyn Nociete, 19; and Jonalyn Lozano, 32.

Miranda said the relatives of the victims told investigators that recent events only point to Avino as the perpetrator.

Miranda said they are looking into the recent breakup of Avino and the Nociete family's employee, Samantha (not her real name), as the reason behind the massacre.

Samantha works at the eatery business of the Nociete family.

Samantha was supposedly with her employers at the eatery when the killing occurred. She is now cooperating with the police to capture Avino, Miranda said.

Miranda said Samantha broke up with Avino last April 4 because the latter was a beater. The two had lived together for three years, Miranda said.

Samantha said Avino did not accept her decision to split up with him. She said Avino went to visit her at the Nociete residence last April 5.

The Nocietes, however, refused to let Avino inside their house. Avino then issued threats against the Nociete family.

"Ang suspek, kakilala nang matagal ng pamilya ng biktima (Nocietes). Actually itong si Philip ang unang nakilala, kaya na-employ si Samantha sa canteen," Miranda said.

Miranda said an operation has been launched against Avino, who is reportedly now in Metro Manila.

"Pino-profile na natin si Philip kung anong klaseng tao ito at kung meron bang kuneksyon ito sa pagdo-droga," he said.

"Mina-manhunt na siya ng operatiba, meron tayong nakatutok na humahabol sa kanya."