By Alexis Romero
Philippine Star, Friday, August 13, 2010
Police arrested a former helper, believed to behind the
massacre of retired Navy Lt. Commander Ernesto Paiton,
his wife, daughter and two other relatives in Puerto
Princessa, Palawan on Aug. 9.
Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., spokesman of
the Philippine National Police (PNP), said local police
apprehended Florencio Magada, 37, after his description
matched the information given by witnesses.
"Elements of Special Investigation Task Group picked up
Magada for questioning on Paiton killings," said Cruz.
In a police lineup, the suspect positively identified by
the witness as the one fleeing the crime scene wearing a
blue jacket and bloodied pants. Police recovered the blue
jacket in the possession of the suspect.
Police also recovered a khaki belt bag, bull cap, infant
shirt with blood stain, a blood stained white t-shirt and
two bolos measuring 23.4 inches and 21.7 inches.
Investigators will ask the Scene of the Crime Operatives
to get a swab from the bolo to check the presence of the
blood of the victims.
Cruz said other corroborative evidences are being gathered
for filling of the case in court for five counts of murder
for the killing of paiton, 59; his wife, Chief Petty Officer
Carmelita, 55; their daughter Erlita, 21; niece Sharon Cabatuan,
19; and nephew Renato Cabatuan, 17.
In a phone interview, Senior Superintendent Caesar Daniel
Miranda, Puerto Princessa City police chief, said magada was
arrested in his house in Barangay Bacungan, also in Puerto
Princessa at around 2 a. m. yesterday morning.
Aside from the massacre, Miranda said Magada has two standing
warrants of arrest for rape in relation with Republic Act 7610
or the anti-child abuse law, which also took place in the city.
The warrant was issued by judge Jose bayani Usman issued on Oct.
Miranda noted that they are still verifying if Magada committed
the crime alone or with an accomplice, including the driver of
the tricycle he used when he escaped.
Cruz said the suspect used to work as a caretaker of the farm of
Paiton, in Barangay Bacungan, for six years but was terminated
last year for still unknown reason.
"Since then he got angry with the victims. There was also
information that the suspect was seen sharpening his bolo," he
For its part, the Philippine Navy welcomed the arrest of the
suspect behind last Monday's massacre in Puerto Prncessa.
"The Philippine Navy led by its Flag Officer-in-Command Rear
Admiral Danilo Cortez is comforted by the report that the suspect
was already apprehended by the police," Navy spokesman Lt, Col.
Edgard Arevalo said in a text message.
He said the murder of the Paiton couple and three others was
"gruesome" and calls for the giving of justice.
"We congratulate the members of the team led by the PNP for
the immediate resolution of the crime by bringing the purported
killer to the bar of justice," Arevalo said.