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Killings rock police in 2009

First Posted 07:09:00 01/01/2010

There might be fewer high profile robbery cases in Cebu and province in 2009.

But Cebu was rocked with a series of killings that claimed the lives of an assistant city fiscal, a priest, an engineer and a wife of a former town vice mayor.

Year 2009 opened with gruesome family violence. A 35-year-old man killed his stepson and five-year-old daughter.

The bodies of Felix Ortiz, daughter Christy Mae Tabal and stepson Christoph Von Borstel were found inside a rented room on Escario Street in uptown Cebu City on Jan. 4.

Police said Ortiz suffocated the two children by placing their heads inside bags of cellophane before hanging himself.

The police said Ortiz was distraught after his girlfriend, the children?s mother, decided to end their relationship.

On Jan. 22, the body of a 26-year-old female call center agent was mutilated and stuffed inside two garbage bags in a hotel in barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City.

Lynn ?Vi? Ebarita, a TeleTech employee, suffered 22 stab wounds.

A female co-worker of the victim was arrested after she was tagged as the mastermind in the killing.

Text Date Murder

On Jan. 28, the body of a Mactan Export Zone (Mez) worker was found on a grassy lot at the Mandaue reclamation area..

Emily Nuñeza, 24, was allegedly killed by Julius Coton, 26, of Zamboanga City, whom the woman met in radio dating program.

The man was arrested days after the woman's body was found.

Coton admitted to the crime, saying he decided to kill the woman after raping him so she wouldn?t squeal to the police.

A call center worker and her boyfriend were also found dead in their rented house in barangay Lahug, Cebu City on Aug. 22.

Ana Marie Nuez, 28, suffered 37 stab wounds and her boyfriend, Von Eric Moyo, 28 stab wounds.

Police said jealousy was believe to be the motive in the killing.

But one of the most baffling killings of 2009 was the murder of a pastor?s wife.

The body of Judith Jastiva was found in barangay Tabunan, Cebu City after her husband, Leonardo reported to the police that unidentified men tied him to his motorcycle and took his wife away.

Leonardo was later arrested after the police found out that the text messages allegedly sent by the kidnappers came from Leonardo?s cellular phone.

Leonardo, the president of the International Missionary Society of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, denied the allegations.

He was later released after the court ruled that his arrest was illegal in the absence of a warrant.


On Jan. 6, two men on a motorcycle shot dead assistant city prosecutor Patrick Ian Osorio in barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.

The shooting shocked fellow fiscals.

On July 1, a barangay tanod, who was implicated in the killing, was arrested. The mastermind, however, remains at large.

On April 16, three men on a motorcycle shot dead engineer Malequias Ceballo, who was driving his Toyota pick-up truck, on his way to work.

The case has not been solved.

On June 20, lawyer Mary Jane Arada and her husband, retired Col. Francisco Arada were shot dead inside their house in barangay Cantaw-an, Naga City, southern Cebu.

Arada was an official of the Philippine Export Processing Zone Authority. Police said the shooting was work-related.


On July 6, Fr. Jovencio Rabusa was killed by four robbers at the South Coastal Road in Talisay City.

The robbers shot the priest after he tried to run away. Three men and a teenager were later arrested and charged for the crime.

On Nov. 4, armed men robbed former Barili vice mayor Luisito Ponsic and his wife, Gina, in front of their house in Barili town, western Cebu.

Luisito survived the attack but Gina died of gunshot wounds.

The robbers took about P500,000, which the couple had just withdrawn from the bank to be used to buy copra in barangay Mantalongon.

The shooting also remained unsolved.

At least two robbery groups were also busted in Cebu in 2009.

Members of Mindanao-based robbery group headed by Roy Quimada were arrested in Cebu after robbing a businesswoman of her jewelry in barangay Mambaling in late July. Quimada escaped and returned to Ozamiz where he was shot dead in August.


In October, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents tracked down Luzon-based robbery gang leader Alvin Flores and four gang members in barangay Estaca, Compostela town in northern Cebu.

The Flores group had just robbed a Rolex store inside a mall in Makati City. The robbery was foiled by a policeman-bodyguard of a mayor.

A shootout happened, killing one robber. Flores and his gang left Metro Manila for Cebu.

On Oct. 29, NBI got wind of their location and conducted a raid on the strength of the arrest warrant issued by a court in Caloocan City.

A shootout ensued. Flores and his companions ? Ritchie Hijapon, Mark Salamanca and Roger Sanchez ? were dead.

Another member, Batiancila surrendered to the NBI agents.

Hijapon and Batiancila are from Sta. Fe town, Daanbantayan Cebu.

Two foreigners were also killed in Cebu this year. In July 19, Norwegian Nils Frode Aksnes Steen, 51, was stabbed dead by one of his four visitors after he held them hostage inside his house in barangay Jugan, Consolacion town.

On Oct. 2, American John Walter Zuke, was shot dead by two motorcycle-riding assailants in barangay Camboang, Dumanjug town. Two cousins were arrested on Dec. 2 for the killing.

Five foreigners were also arrested for child abuse.

The latest arrests involved controversial boxing promoter Perry McNeely and two other Americans for bringing a minor to their hotel room.


Preston Jay Kunts, 41, was the first American arrested this year for bringing a 12-year-old girl in a resort on May 15, inside the Hoyohoy beach resort in Sta. Fe town.

Kunts, however, left the country after he posted bail from his child abuse case.

Another American Garry Lee Rohn, 69, was also arrested for bringing minors to his house in Madridejos town.

But Rohn was released on June 30 after the judge dismissed child abuse charges against him for lack of evidence.

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