A retired Army sergeant and his neighbor, who were tagged in the murder of the wife of an overseas Filipino worker in Hinigaran town last year, surrendered to the Negros Occidental Criminal Investigation and Detection Group past noon yesterday.
Retired technical sergeant Norberto Panaguiton, 53, and Arnold Tayco, 41, of Brgy. Aranda, Hinigaran, were accompanied by barangay kagawad Remegio Rocan and town Vice Mayor Jose Nadie Arceo when they surrendered, CIDG-Negros Occidental head, Chief Insp. Cresenciano Cordero, said.
Cordero said Regional Trial Court Branch 56 Judge Nilo Sarsaba issued arrest warrants against Tayco and Panaguiton and denied them bail for their alleged participation in the killing of Ma. Theresa Vinco.
Vinco, who was then 39 years old, was stabbed several times in front of her daughters, aged 2 and 4, at their house in Brgy. Paticui at about 2 a.m. on June 25, 2012, police records show.
The Hinigaran police earlier theorized robbery as motive for the killing of Vinco as her husband, who works in the United States, was supposed to send money when the incident happened.
However, when the CIDG took over the investigation from the Hinigaran police, a witness surfaced and pointed to Panaguiton and Tayco as the suspects in the killing, and claimed that robbery was not the real motive, Cordero said.
Both denied killing Vinco.
Panaguiton said he was sleeping at his house in Barangay Aranda because he had just celebrated his birthday, and Tayco said he was having a drink with a relative, at the time Vinco was killed.
Panaguiton admitted to have known Vinco but Tayco stressed he did not know the victim.
Panaguiton and Tayco said they were surprised that they were implicated by a witness in the crime, and said they surrendered because their consciences were clear.*APN