MANILA, Philippines — The husband of a US diplomat stabbed dead in an early morning altercation at the gate of a posh Makati village just so happened to have hurt the egos of his four attackers when he gave the silver Volvo car they were riding in a hard tap, police said.
George Anikow, 41, an inactive US marine officer, died on Saturday morning after he was mauled and fatally stabbed at the back and left shoulder in an event so random he and the other men hardly knew each other, Senior Supt. Manuel Lukban, Makati police chief, said in an interview.
The suspects identified as Juan Alfonzo Abastilla, 24; Crispin dela Paz, 28; Osric Cabrera, 27; and Galicano Datu III, 22, have been charged with murder.
Covering their faces with towels to avoid television cameras, the four underwent inquest proceedings at the Makati prosecutor’s office on Sunday afternoon.
The four were arrested by the Makati police on Saturday moments after the fatal stabbing and when they were about to flee.
Abastilla, Dela Paz, and Cabrera are profiled as businessmen living in Makati while Datu is a student of De la Salle University in Manila. The four are believed to be from well-to-do families, according to the police.
“There was no deeper reason why they attacked the American. Nakalalake lang. (Their egos were just hurt),” Lukban told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Makati police said the four on board a silver Volvo (TOJ 886) were being checked by a security guard at the gate of Rockwell Center along Kalayaan Avenue when Anikow who, then appeared to be drunk, broke into the conversation.
“You need to present your ID, the guard is checking you,” Anikow told the men in the Volvo car, the Rockwell security guard said.
The men ignored him but the driver Abastilla asked for the name of the American before he rolled up the car’s window.
But the Volvo-riding men lost their cool when the American gave their Volvo a tap. They alighted the vehicle and ganged up on the victim.
“The victim was able to run away but the attackers caught up with him and mauled him again,” Lukban said.
Witnesses said the victim fell to the ground, bleeding from the stab wounds in his body.
Before fleeing, one of the attackers even threatened the on-duty security guard saying: “Wag kang magsusumbong. Huwag mong kunin ang plate number namin, gago yan (You don’t report this. Don’t take down our plate number. That guy’s no good).”
Chief Superintendent Benito Estipona, director of the Southern Police District, said the policemen on three mobile patrol cars, upon getting an alert from Rockwell security guards, were just in time to block the suspects’ path along Estrella St., in Barangay Poblacion, Makati City.
A bloodstained tactical knife was found at the front passenger seat of the suspects’ vehicle.
Lukban said the US Embassy officials have been in constant contact with the Makati police after learning about the killing.
“They are looking forward to the immediate filing of the case,” Lukban said.
The victim, a dependent of one of the officers of the US Embassy, was awaiting order from the US Marine to be called to duty, the police said.
Lukban said the Makati police opted to file murder, a non-bailable offense, instead of homicide since the attackers chased the victim “with the intent to kill.”