September 26, 2022
MURDER SUSPECT  YIELDS — Manila police escort Reneval N. Ponce (center), 31, one of the prime suspects in the killing of Juliet Bajar Hesim, 22, whose body was found in a private compound at A. Tabora in Baguio City on Aug. 30 after the suspect surrendered to the Manila Police District Homicide Section on Sept. 7. The family members and live-in partner of the victim (inset) want all suspects to be brought to justice when they travelled to Baguio from Angeles City on Sept. 8 to see the suspect. — Christian Heramis/Hanna Lacsamana

The Baguio City Police Office has filed charges for murder and violation of Sections 11 and 12 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 against the suspects in the killing of a 22-year-old woman whose body was found in Alfonso Tabora, Baguio City on Aug. 30.
BCPO Public Information Officer, Lt. Angeline Dongpaen said the murder and drug charges were filed against Reneval Ponce, 31, of Bacolod, Negros Occidental, on Sept. 9 after he surrendered to the Pasay police on Sept. 7 after the BCPO launched an alert and manhunt order against the suspects.
Similar charges were filed against the male companion of Ponce.
He was identified based on CCTV footage found during police investigation and the results of a search warrant on the scene of the crime linking him to the case after the victim’s body was found.
He was brought to the BCPO on Sept. 8 where he executed an extrajudicial confession of his involvement in the killing of Juliet Hesim of Angeles, Pampanga on Aug. 29 and whose body was discovered and reported by a concerned citizen morning of Aug. 30.
The victim was found in a residential compound unclothed with her hands tied with a belt and mouth covered with duct tape.
Dongpaen said based on his subscribed extrajudicial confession, Ponce was in Pasay when he learned about the manhunt order and felt guilty and confided to his live-in partner who accompanied him to surrender to the police.
He confessed taking part in the commission of the crime by tying the victim’s hands and covering her mouth with duct tape, but claimed he was not the one who killed the victim. He pointed to another male companion as the one who choked the victim, whose autopsy showed she died of asphyxiation.
Dongpaen said investigation is ongoing to establish the identity of the other suspect, who together with Ponce was suspected of using drugs prior to the commission of the crime, based on drug paraphernalia and other evidence found in the apartment where the crime also apparently took place.
The family of Hesim, who traveled from Angeles City to Baguio on Sept. 8 upon learning of Ponce’s surrender, has appealed for an eye-for-an-eye justice for the gruesome death of the victim, which earned public outrage.
They said if only there is a law, they want those responsible to be meted the death penalty.
Her father Jose Hesim said what happened to his daughter is painful for him.
Joseph, her older brother, said they hope equal justice will be served for the death of his sister.
“Sana mabigyan ng hustisya ang pagkamatay ng kapatid ko. Pati ‘yung isa nilang kasama, dapat mahuli rin kasi karumaldumal ang sinapit ng kapatid ko.
Mabait at mapagbigay po ang kapatid ko, kaya hindi namin tanggap ang pagkamatay n’ya. Lahat kaming taga-Pampanga, kung may death penalty lang po sana…” Joseph said and added a normal person would not do what was done to his sister.
He said based on the CCTV footage gathered by the police, it is clear the suspects were last seen with his sister and it would be contemptible of them should they deny their involvement in the crime.
Jomar Ventura, Hesim’s live-in partner, for the sake of their child who lost a mother called on the other suspect to surrender
“Humihingi kami ng tulong para mahanap sila, para sa anak naming naulila.Kung anuman ang ginawa nila, kamatayan ang ginawa nila, dapat ganun din ang sapitin nila…para mabigyan ng hustisya ‘yung ginawa nilang hindi tama,” Ventura said. – Hanna C. Lacsamana