Sunday, July 27, 1997    

2 men arrested in.......... Chiong case

     POLICE picked up two suspects in the disappearance of the Chiong sisters---a driver of a van-for-hire and his conductor.

     The men's white van, an air conditioned Lite Ace with plate no. GGC-491, was also impounded.

     Investigators would not say why the two men were arrested Friday night, but the face of the driver, Alberto Caño, 31, matched a cartographic sketch carried by a member of Task Force Chiong. 

     Both suspects, Caño and Ariel Balansag, 21, are from Panantaran, San Fernando town in southern Cebu.

     Marijoy Chiong's body was found dumped in a ravine in Carcar town last week. Her 23-year old sister, Jacqueline is still missing. The Chiong sisters disappeared on July 16 while waiting for a ride at Ayala Center. 

     Caño interviewed in his detention cell in Camp Sotero Cabahug, denied any knowledge of the apparent abduction of the two young women, daughters of a purchasing manager of Hilton Heavy Equipment.

     The man in the police sketch had long hair. Caño said he had his hair cut short, sometime last week.

     Police authorities are following three angles in the case but have revealed no solid leads so far. One theory is that the crime was carried out by a desperate admirer of one of the sisters. A business rivalry involving the father has also been speculated as well as random violence by thrill seekers high on drugs.

     Task Force Chiong chief, Sr. Supt. Fritz Quiñanola. declined to discuss the case except to say all angles are being studied. Kidnap for ransom has been ruled out, however.

    He also declined to comment on the arrest of the two suspects until a complete investigation report is handed to him.

     Police went to great lengths to pick up Caño, and even shot at him when he alluded arrest. 

     The police registry book identified the arresting officer as SPO1 Reynaldo Martillano of the vice control section. 

     Caño, in the interview, said his passenger van plies southern Cebu towns. He said the van was in the shop for repair of it's air-conditioner between July 16 to 18. The Chiong sisters were reported missing last July 16.  Marijoy' s body was found two days later.

     According to Caño, he was having supper with Balansag at a restaurant in Awayan, Carcar town on Friday when they were approached by by a man who hired them for P350 to go to Cebu City.

               Alberto Caño, 31 and Ariel Balansag, 21

      The man, who turned out to be a policeman, pretended he was in a hurry to join his wife who was about to give birth.
     When they reached Pook, Talisay, the man and his companions suddenly handcuffed Caño to the steering wheel. 

     Frightened,  the driver jumped off yanking the steering wheel with him. Caño said he saw a taxi driven by someone he knew heading south. He flagged it down. But he said he did not mean to escape and that he proceeded to Minglanilla police station to surrender. Minglanilla police turned him over to police authorities in Cebu city.

      Meanwhile, the University of San Carlos (USC) community is thinking of holding an rally indignation rally to protest the brutal death of Marijoy and the emerging culture of violence. Marijoy was enrolled in the university.

     Fr. Max Abalos, USC vice president for administration, announced to hold a march rally before a public forum on the state of the nation yesterday. The plan will be finalized next week.

     "We will express in a collective manner our indignation over the brutal slaying", said Abalos.

     Abalos said they believe Chiong's death was the work of drug addicts because violence is often drug related. The USC community will also express outrage over the proliferation of drugs which has fueled violence.

     "With drugs come violence",  said Abalos.

     PNP medico legal office Nestor Satur had confirmed that Marijoy was raped before she was flung alive, with handcuffs down a ravine in Sitio Tan-awan, Barangay Guadalupe, Carcar. WITH A REPORT FROM GC/FLB.

Comments:  The police arrested these two men without the benefit of any warrants of arrest. 

     Task Force Chiong chief Quiñanola wasn't even aware of any pending arrest. He declined to comment on the arrest of the two suspects until a complete investigation report is handed to him.

     Who is this SPO1 Reynaldo Martillano of the vice control section? The vice control section isn't even part of the Task Force Chiong created to solve the disappearance of the Chiong sisters. What motive had he to arrest these 2 men on his own volition, without any warrants or basis?

     What is not reported in the papers was that whilst the driver was able to run away and was caught later. The conductor, Balansag was taken into a green Toyota Corolla where they wrapped plastic masking tape around his eyes. Same kind of masking tape and manner the unidentified lady in the ravine was wrapped with. Coincidence?

NOTE:  1.  RED COLOR OURS FOR EMPHASIS.                                                                                

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