Arrest of ‘serial killer’ gives way to hunt for coddlers, loose arms

    ANGELES CITY – Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan declared on Wednesday as “solved” the serial murder cases in this city with the arrest of suspect Mark Dizon in San Fernando, La Union last Tuesday morning, but police authorities said they are not yet about to let go of his coddlers and his still missing firearms.

     An initial five counts of murder and robbery were filed here yesterday morning against Dizon, but evidences piling up would likely make him answerable for a total of nine murders committed in three separate incidents this month in this city.

    Pamintuan, a lawyer,  cited yesterday “preponderance of evidence” to eventually pin down Dizon, as he and police officials led by Central Luzon police director Chief Supt. Arturo Cacdac and Angeles police Chief Senior Supt. Danny Bautista presented to media three laptops, several cell phones, cameras,  and even bottles of perfume Dizon carted away from his victims.

    The Angeles police filed on Thursday another case of illegal possession of firearms against Dizon who was nabbed in San Fernando, La Union after he was found with a .22 caliber pistol during his arrest.

     Bautista and Cacdac said that those who had secured Dizon after he was identified as suspect in the last of the serial murders last July 22 would be charged with harboring a criminal. They also said police probers is finding out if Dizon had also secured various firearms, including an M-16 rifle, in the safekeeping of others, after photos showed him posing with the long firearms and three assorted pistols, including the .9 mm. caliber firearms used in the serial murders.

    Pamintuan said that while the cases against Dizon were filed only on Wednesday, his arrest the other day was justified based on a warrant of arrest he had eluded in 2005 on charges of carnapping and robbery. 

    On the other hand, Bautista justified the arrest as part of the police’s hot pursuit operations following testimonies of witnesses in the latest murder case.

    Cacdac said the initial five counts of murder charges filed pertained only to the massacre of retired US air force MSgt.  Albert Mitchell, 70, and her mother  Janet, 53,  and their househelps Isabel Fajardo, Marissa Prado, and Yulberto Catli in their home in  Hensonville Court subdivision in Barangay Malabanias last July 22. 

    But Cacdac stressed that the recovered laptops and other properties from Dizon’s possession, the .9 mm. caliber pistol used in all the murders, and the testimonies of witnesses who saw him during the time of the crimes also identified him as the culprit in two other earlier murders.

    The other victims were South African national  Geoffrey Allan Bennun, 60, and his live-in partner, Abegail Helina, 20,  whose decomposing bodies were found inside their house at Oasis Hotel and Villas in Clarkville Compound in Barangay Anunas here last July 12.

    Last July 16, British  James Bolton Porter, 51,  and his live-in partner, Melissa Madarang, 22, were also found dead with .9 mm. pitols bullet holes in their bodies in their house at 4-11A Nicolas St. in Sta. Maria subdivision in Barangay Balibago here.

    Police probers noted Dizon’s obsession with laptops and other electronic gadgets of his victims.

    Pamintuan said that his friend Rey Malig was able to convince Dizon’s parents to arrange for a meeting last Tuesday, as it turned out that the suspect was in San Fernando, La Union.
    “He wanted to surrender to the mayor and not to the police whom he feared would kill him,” Malig said in a press conference.

    No one could say during the press conference who would get the P100,000 reward reportedly raised by local expatriates to anyone who could help solve the murder cases.

    Cacdac said that Dizon had no plans to surrender and reportedly told his parents he would rather be a communist rebel. The policemen, led by Senior Supt. Elvis Diaz, posed as rebels for the meeting arranged by the victim’s father.

    “But when the disguised police team arrived, Dizon seemed suspicious and had to be grabbed. That was when the pistol fell from him,” Cacdac related.

    Dizon was detained at the city police headquarters in Barangay Sto. Domingo here.


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