TWO miners from Baguio City were arrested Sunday morning by Benguet police for allegedly killing their 31-year-old colleague and trying to hide his body, said Cordillera Police Regional Office director, Brigadier General R’win S. Pagkalinawan.
The official identified the arrested suspects as Jommel Saliong, 31, resident of Magsaysay, Loakan Road and Raymond Butoeg, 25, of Purok 3, Kilometer 4, Asin Road in Baguio City. Both are facing murder charges in connection with the killing of Eddie Lumag, a native of Besao, Mountain Province.
Pagkalinawan said members of the Itogon Municipal Police Station shortly before 5 a.m. yesterday responded to a report from a concerned citizen regarding the presence of two suspicious-looking men with bloodstains on their hands and feet in Sitio Lower Midas, Bgy. Ucab.
The report said the two parked their white Toyota Revo in the area.
Officers later discovered a pool of blood along the road but failed to find the two. A search resulted in the discovery of the victim’s body hidden in the thick bushes about 15-meters away from the main road.
After finding the man’s body, the Itogon police radioed for help and set up chokepoints to intercept the fleeing suspects.
Pagkalinawan said that officers led by Major Rommel Sawatang eventually arrested the two suspects inside their shanty in Riversite, Virac area.
During initial investigation, the suspect confessed that they and the victim were having a drinking session in their shanty last Saturday evening when they decided to proceed to Baguio City to buy more liquor.
On board their wagon with plate no. XJX-414, the three left the shanty on their way to Baguio. However, when they stopped in Lower Midas to answer the call of nature, a misunderstanding between the suspects and the victim erupted.
At the height of their argument, Saliong confessed he held the victim’s hands before Butoeg picked up a stone and smashed the man’s head causing him to lose consciousness.
When they realized they have killed the victim, the two decided to dump the latter’s body in the bushes.