Thursday, July 31, 1997 

8 suspects watched...... in case of Chiongs

     EIGHT Cebu City residents are being watched by police on suspicion they had something to do with the disappearance of the Chiong sisters, Vice Mayor Renato Osmeña said.

     In a press conference yesterday, Osmeña said the five police groups created to solve the case, including Task Force Chiong from the Police Regional Office, are working on the matter.

     The eight suspects exclude Alberto Caño and Ariel Balansag, who were picked up by the police in Talisay last week but released last Monday for lack of evidence.

     Osmeña said the eight suspects are "still here" in Cebu city. He refused to give their names so as not to preempt police operations.

     "We are doing our best . . . Just give us time," said Osmeña, who also heads the police coordinating and advisory council.

     Caño and Balansag were detained at the Cebu City Police Office along Gorordo st., for over two days after they were picked up for questioning Saturday dawn. 

     Caño drives an air-conditioned van; Balansag is his conductor. Witnesses said they saw the vehicle along the road near a ravine where Marijoy Chiong's body was found in Sitio Tan-awan, Barangay Guadalupe, Carcar.

    Task Force Chiong leader Fritz Quiñanola said the release of the two did not mean they have been cleared.

     Osmeña said that of the leads being pursued, authorities are seriously considering the possibility that the Chiongs were chanced upon by drug users.

     The kidnap-for-ransom angle was cast aside since no ransom demands have reached the family, which is also not well-off, Osmeña said.

     The vice mayor said drug users picking victims at random is likely these days.

     Osmeña said authorities have "zero leads" as to the whereabouts of Jacqueline, 23. Her sister, Marijoy, 21, was buried Monday.

     Both were abducted while waiting for a ride home at the Ayala Center on the night of July 16.

     Marijoy's body was found on July 18, dumped down a 150-meter ravine in Carcar. A handcuff was on one hand. PPA 

Comments:  If the police had 8 suspects, excluding Caño and Balansag, then that would make a total of ten suspects. Not 8, as presented during the trial.

     At this point, one wonders if the vice mayor already knew that his nephew would be implicated.  

     He said that the eight suspects were "still here" in Cebu city. Paco was already studying in Manila from the 8th of June till they tried to arrest him on the second week September. He only went home once and that was from the evening of the 17th of July until the afternoon of the 20th of July.

NOTE:  1.  RED COLOR OURS FOR EMPHASIS.                                                                                

              GO BACK TO                   GO TO THE         
             HOME                NEXT ISSUE