Cops nab suspect in Batangas massacre
GMA News' Maria Ausente reported that Lian Police arrested 25-year-old Ronald Mendoza, suspect in the killing of his aunt Merlita Austria and cousins Emmanuel and Emelita Austria, in an operation at the Baclaran Church in Pasay City on Monday morning.
Senior Inspector Joel Bustamente Laraya, chief of the Lian Police, said in the report that they received information that Mendoza had been hiding at the Baclaran Church since the crime happened last Saturday.
"Tiniktikan na namin mismo asawa niya at hindi na namin nilubayan yun at nakakuha rin kami ng informant sa loob, nagbigay samin ng info na may text na yung asawa na makikipagkita and pinasundan ko na yung asawa niya," he said.
Ausente quoted police as saying that an initial investigation revealed that Mendoza murdered his relatives after Emmanuel refused to lend him money, which the suspect did not deny.
Ausente likewise reported that according to the autopsy report, Merlita sustained 14 stab wounds; Emmanuel eight; and Emelita seven.
"Nag-black out na rin yung isip ko kasi ganun na nga, di ako makapaniwalang nagawa ko yung bagay na yun. Ako'y humihingi ng kapatawaran sa nagawa kong kasalanan na humantong sa ganung bagay. Sana mapatawad ako ng aking Tiyo Danilo," Mendoza said in the same report.
But Danilo Austria, husband of Merlita and father of Emmanuel and Emelita, said that Mendoza should pay for his crime.
"Dapat iimplement ang batas, maparusahan talaga," he said. Danilo, a seaman, was on his way to Malaysia when the incident happened.
Mendoza will face inquest proceedings on multiple murder charges on Tuesday. — Kim Tan/RSJ, GMA News