The families of alleged salvage victims Henry Gazo Jr. and Prince Ivan Ombion Jovelo are appealing to the public for any lead that will help the police in finding the unidentified suspects responsible for their brutal slaying
Gazo and Jovelo were found dead early Sunday morning along the national road in Barangay Sta. Cruz with their hands and feet tied with a cord and their necks with deep lacerated wounds.
Princess Razel Ombion Jovelo, elder sister of Ivan, appealed on Sunday evening to the public to help if they know any knowledge about what happened to her brother who left a one-year-old child and Gazo.
“Wala pa talaga kaming lead. Sana matulungan man lang kami, kahit sa social media makita nila ‘yong gumawa nito sa kanila, matulungan kami kahit isa man lang sa gumawa nito sa kanila [ay mahuli]. Na sana kung sino ‘yong may alam matulungan kami,” she said.
Princess said they cannot believe Ivan’s brutal killing.
Prince, 20, worked in construction services with their father before he was killed, she said. Gazo, on the other hand, was a tricycle driver.
“Grabe talaga ‘yong ginawa nila brutal talaga ‘yong ginawa nila sa kapatid ko. Tinalian pa ang paa at kamay wala talagang kalaban-laban,” she said.
According to Princess, post-mortem stated that Ivan suffered four stab wounds on his back and one on his chest while Gazo was stabbed 13 times.
Both of them had deep lacerations too, on their necks.
Aside from the stab wounds, Princess said there were also signs that the two were beaten up before they were killed by unidentified suspects.
“Tinira talaga siya, kasi natamo niya anim na saksak. ‘Yong pang-anim, ginilitan na siya ng leeg, apat sa likod, isa sa dibdib. Biruin mo isang hila na lang sa ulo niya matatanggal na. ‘Yong kasama niya 13 naman na saksak,” she said.
Princess said, the suspects left an envelope with P400 as “abuloy” and a note on the bodies of the victims that says, “Huwag tularan, magnanakaw ng manok”.
Ivan’s cellular phone was also missing and was not found in the area where the crime happened.
“Sa ginawa niya kung may kasalanan sa kanya ‘yong tao puwede naman sila mag-usap sa barangay o sa pulis pero sa ginawa niya iba. Parang matindi ‘yong galit niya, tapos nag-iwan pa ng pera, P400 abuloy daw. May iniwan pang sulat sabi pa doon ‘huwag wag tularan, magnanakaw ito ng manok”. Sabi ko nga, kung nagnakaw ng manok ganoon na gagawin nila?” she said.
The night before the incident, Ivan was able to have dinner with them as they usually do as a family.
Princess said he would always sneak out at night and come home late in the evening or early in the morning.
“Kagabi kasi sabay sabay kami kumain bandang alas otso, kahit araw sabay-sabay talaga kami kumakain. Tapos mga 10 p.m. lock na ‘yong gate namin. Siguro may nag-chat sa kanya or nag-text sa kanya na dadaanan siya, sinundo siya dito, tumakas siya, umakyat siya sa bakod namin. Pero ‘yon kasi nasanay na kami sa kanya na kapag may inuman sila ganoon lumalabas siya pero kahit mga 12 or alas tres umuuwi siya pero nagtaka na kami noon kasi nag-umaga na wala talaga, hindi siya umuwi. Tsaka ninakaw ‘yong cellphone niya kaya siguro hindi na siya nakapag-text sa amin,” she said.
Princess said Ivan and Gazo met and became friends through the tricycle operators and drivers association in their barangay.
They were not really close, but sometimes they would go together to have a drinking session with other friends.
“Matagal na silang hindi nagkakasama kasi di na rin lumalabas ‘yong kapatid ko sa bahay na lang siya, pero kagabi (September 14) kasi parang inaya lang siya, tapos ‘yon na hindi na siya nakauwi,” she said.
Princess reiterated her appeal for the public to help by sharing leads on the whereabouts of the suspects.
“Kung may nalalaman po kayo, nakikiusap ang pamilya namin na tulungan niyo kaming mabigyan ng hustisya ang nangyari sa kapatid ko at kay Gazo,” she said.
Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) Station 2 chief P/Maj. Edgar Salazar confirmed that based on the initial findings of the scene of crime operatives (SOCO), Ivan and Gazo sustained stabbed and incised wounds.
“Doon sa conduct ng investigation, naka-recover tayo piraso ng kalendaryo nakasulat na ang nakalagay ay ‘huwag tularan, magnanakaw ng manok’,” he said.
The note also warns a certain “Ding” to be careful because he will suffer the same fate as Ivan and Gazo.
Because of the note, Salazar said they conducted an investigation if the two victims were involved in burglaries, including a probe regarding their identities.
He said they found out Gazo had a previous record involving a robbery incident.
“Na-find out natin na itong si Henry Gazo ay may record sa Station 1 na involve siya sa robbery incident. Doon naman kay Prince Ivan at sabi rin ng kanyang live-in partner, siya rin ay nai-involve sa gulo. Pero kalaunan hindi na rin siya nai-involve kasi nagbago na… at meron na rin siyang baby,” Salazar said.
He said they are still conducting follow-up investigations and are reviewing CCTV footages and are interviewing other possible witnesses.
Salazar added that right now they are pursuing an “angle” regarding the case, but they cannot disclose it for fear of preempting future police actions.
“Meron tayong isang angulo na tinitingnan na hindi ko muna puwedeng i-reveal kasi nga ongoing pa ‘yong investigation natin.
He said they are in constant communication with the families of the victims for leads that can help arrest the suspects.
Ivan will be laid to rest in Barangay Panacan, Narra on Wednesday, September 18.