AN 18-year old farmer accused of murdering a mute teenager in Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro when the victim refused to hand him his phone last March 29 was arrested by a Mimaropa police tracker team last Thursday, Police Regional Office 4-B director, Brigadier General Tomas C. Apolinario Jr. announced yesterday.
Suspect Jemar Datoon, a resident of Barangay Calangatan in San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro was tracked down in his hiding place in Sitio Matucao in Bgy. Balugo, Mansalay municipality by a team of policemen at 5:45 a.m. Thursday, the official said.
Apolinario said that the suspect did not resist arrest when surrounded by officers who showed him a warrant for his arrest for robbery with homicide with no bail recommended by Judge Cefelene Goco of the Calapan City Regional Trial Court Branch 40.
The Mimaropa police director said that the suspect went into hiding shortly after the body of John Henry Orpia, an 18-year old mute, was discovered in the bushy area of LTO Upper in Bgy. San Rafael, Calapan City past 10 p.m. last March 29.
Apolinario said that the victim’s throat was slashed and he also suffered multiple stab wounds. The victim’s cellphone was also missing.
The official said that during police investigation, a 40-year old banana cue vendor gave a sworn affidavit that he saw the actual crime. The witness said that he was passing by in the area when he saw the suspect and the victim having an argument.
Apolinario said that the witness said that he was hiding from the bushes when he saw the suspect stabbing the victim repeatedly before stealing his mobile phone. Out of fear of reprisal from the killer, the witness kept silent but a week later surfaced at the local police station to give his testimony.
Apolinario said that following the witness’ testimony, the local police filed a robbery with homicide against the suspect. After Judge Goco issued the warrant for the suspect’s arrest, police launched a massive operation to capture the young farmer.
“The key here is the cooperation showed by the witness and information provided by some concerned citizens which enabled my men to track down the suspect’s whereabouts,” the official said.
Apolinario commended the arresting team of policemen led by Lieutenant Colonels Rommel Briones, Danilo Driz and Efraim Camara for their patience and dedication in tracking down the suspect who is now being held at the Mansalay Municipal Police Station lock-up facility.