The body of a seven-year-old girl believed to have been raped before being killed was discovered half-naked atop a tomb at the Tugatog Public Cemetery in Malabon.
A suspect in the brutal rape-slay, identified as Jay-R Payawal, was arrested after four witnesses positively identified the 30-year-old drug dependent as the one who was seen forcibly bringing the victim to the cemetery.
“I saw the child crying while being pulled by the suspect to the cemetery,” the witness said in Filipino. “After witnessing that, I ran away because I thought he has a knife.”
Payawal however refuted the claims of the witnesses stating that it was the victim who went with him and followed him while he was on his way to an eatery.
“Sinundan lang po niya ako sa sementeryo. Pinapauwi ko nga po siya sa bahay nila,” insists Payawal “Hindi ko po pinatay ang bata.”
The mother of the victim however said Payawal was mysteriously looking for her daughter just moments before the grisly discovery.
“Hinahanap niya po ang anak ko sa bahay. Tapos nung umalis siya, nawala na lang bigla ang anak ko,” the mother of the victim said. “Hindi ko po siya mapapatawad sa ginawa niyang pambababoy sa anak ko.”
Payawal is reportedly a godfather of the victim.
Chua said that Payawal was nabbed in a follow-up operation yesterday with the help of a witness that led to the suspect’s arrest along Comercio St. in Barangay Tugatog. (Jel Santos)