By Martin Sadongdong
Police are thoroughly investigating Jonas Martel Bueno, the man being probed for the grim killings of a farmer and a teenage girl in Cebu, after they found supposed inconsistencies in the statements he issued after his arrest, a spokesman for the Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed Sunday.
Senior Superintendent Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, said the Davao Police Regional Office (PRO-11) has noted inconsistencies in the statements of Bueno who claimed during a tactical interrogation that he, his wife, two kids and uncle, arrived in Davao City on March 5 — several days before the body of 16-year-old Christine Silawan was found in a vacant lot in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on March 11.
Banac said this was different from the claims of Bueno’s wife (identity withheld) who said they had been in Davao City since February 23.
“As of this time, the police are still determining when they really arrived in Davao City because the statement of the suspect did not match with the statement of his wife. When asked by the police regarding the date of their arrival, their statements did not match,” he noted.
Chief Superintendent Marcelo Morales, regional director of Davao Police Regional Office (PRO-11), earlier said that Bueno’s wife told the police they went to Davao to find a job.
Accordingly, Bueno and his family stayed at the house of the cousin of his wife in Barangay Matina Pangi, Davao City where he was arrested last Friday by joint elements of Davao police and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
He was apprehended by the authorities on the strength of a warrant of arrest for a separate murder case involving Trinidad Batucan, a 60-year-old deaf-and-mute farmer, in Danao City, Cebu on January 13, 2019.
Morales said Bueno had admitted to killing Batucan but he denied his involvement in Silawan’s death.
However, Bueno is being investigated for both cases since the investigators found similarities in the manner as to how the two women were killed — both of the victims had the skin on parts of their bodies peeled off.
Aside from the date of their arrival in Davao City, investigators also said that Bueno, who is a native of Danao, Cebu — and his wife, had conflicting statements on how they traveled from Cebu to Davao City.
According to Morales, Bueno claimed that they traveled by sea, specifically by boarding a boat. His wife, on the other hand, claimed they traveled on land by boarding a bus.
As for Banac, he said the truth to these inconsistencies will be determined by the investigators as the probe deepens.
“Patuloy na tinitignan ‘yan ng ating mga imbestigador sa PRO-7 (Central Visayas Police Regional Office) at PRO-11. Patuloy ang pag-estabish ng mga impormasyon para mabigyang-linaw itong kaso (The investigators from Central Visayas Police Regional Office and PRO-11 are still conducting an investigation. We are still establishing information to clear this case),” he said.
Meanwhile, the date of the transfer of Bueno from the detention facility of the NBI in Davao City to Danao, Cebu has yet to be determined.