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Suspect in killing of New Zealand tourist surrenders to police

A suspect in the February 19 killing of a New Zealand tourist in Makati City is already in police custody, Unang Balita reported on Friday.

Accompanied by his family members, the suspect, John Mhar Manalo, surrendered to the police in Pasig City early Friday morning.

Manalo was identified by three witnesses as the one who shot victim Nicholas Peter Stacey during a robbery attempt. He surrendered hours after the police named him as one of the two suspects in the killing.

“Marami pong tumawag sa atin na sinasabi na gusto na niyang sumuko. Kaya po natin siya hawak ngayon dahil sa kaniyang warrant of arrest,” said SPD District Director, Police Brigadier General Kirby John Kraft.

Manalo denied involvement in the killing of Stacey but is the subject of a warrant of arrest in connection with a separate robbery incident that occurred in Bulacan.

According to Jonathan Andal's report on "24 Oras," the suspect claimed that he only rented a car for the group that committed the crime.

“Yung lumabas po na picture po, 2020 pa po ‘yun. Bale nakita niyo naman po ‘yung itsura ko ngayon sa picture po na pina-aano po sa inyo,” Manalo said.

“Kaya handa po akong humarap sa inyo, patunayan po na wala po akong kasalanan malinis po yung konsensya ko,” he added.

However, the police believe that Manalo was the gunman behind the crime.

“Ang suspect ay may standing warrant of arrest sa Bulacan at Quezon City at may kaso siyang robbery with force and intimidation. Ang suspect ay miyembro ng criminal gang na nago-operate sa Taguig at karating lugar katulad ng Makati,” Kraft said.

“Iharap na lang ng suspect ang kaniyang alibi sa judicial process, pero ang PNP ay nanininindigan dahil ang supect ay kinilala, hindi lang isa kundi limang mga witnesses,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the police continued to conduct a follow-up operation on the motorcycle rider, who is said to be the suspect's accomplice.

Stacey was shot when he tried to defend his girlfriend from motorcycle-riding robbers who were victimizing her along Filmore Street in Barangay Palanan, Makati City on the wee hours of Sunday. —With Sheylin Untalan/KBK, GMA Integrated News