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Suspect in killing of 5 under tight security
Harley F. Palangchao
Headlines, 4-13-2014

The prime suspect in the killing of five people, including three children at Kayang, Hilltop in Baguio on April 6, is under tight security after he was turned over to the Baguio City Police Office on Wednesday night.

Suspect Philip Tolentino Avino, 31, who also uses the alias Michael Geronimo, was transported to Baguio after he surrendered to Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno on Tuesday.

Tolentino is facing five counts of murder. He allegedly stabbed to death five hapless victims inside a rented unit at 4th floor of Chan Building at 3rd Kayang Street, Hilltop.

The suspect denied any involvement in the gruesome killing that gripped Baguio over the past days, but evidence and a key witness pointed to him as the perpetrator.

He surrendered to Moreno after he feared for his life and after the city offered P100,000 reward to any person who could help authorities arrest him.

Avino is said to be responsible in the stabbing to death of siblings Jackelyn Kale Nociete, 19, a student of Saint Louis University, who sustained 18 stab wounds while her younger brother Joey Jr. sustained 14 stab wounds.

Two other victims were playmates of the siblings named as Dave John de Guzman, 7, and Raymond del Mundo, 8, who sustained eight and five stab wounds, respectively.

The househelp of the Nociete’s identified as Jonalyn Lozano died of 12 stab wounds.

The bodies of the victims were discovered inside the rented unit of the Nociete family.

The parents and relatives of the victims were allowed to see Avino while he was being checked by personnel of the BCPO Scene of the Crime Operatives after he arrived from the city police command of Manila.

One of the relatives of the victims surmised Avino had a companion and could not have single-handedly stabbed to death the five victims.

Prior to the discovery of the bodies, the older Nociete texted their mother several times between 5 and 6:30 p.m. about a male who was looking for their father.

Investigators interviewed a female occupant at the 5th floor of Chan building, who said she saw a man standing in front of the rented unit of the Nocietes at around 3:30 p.m. and she assumed he was a visitor.

The suspect, who stands 5’2’’ to 5’3,’’ and has dark complexion, was wearing a green sweatshirt and black short pants.

The suspect reportedly changed and left the the bloodied clothes at the crime scene before he fled.

Based on the initial statements of the suspect’s former live-in partner, she  positively established the identity of the suspect who turned out to be Avino.

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