The family of the missing Jovelyn Galleno has expressed doubts on the ongoing police investigation into the case, as a self-confessed suspect to a possible rape-slay case emerged along with other evidence.
In an interview over Sen. Raffy Tulfo’s radio program Wanted sa Radyo on Friday morning, the sister of the missing Jovelyn claimed that the human remains found on a supposed crime scene was not that of her sister’s.
Jonalyn Galleno asserted that one of the two current suspects, Leobert Dasmariñas, who is a family relative, admitted to her in a private confrontation that the skeletal remains found in the place called Pulang Lupa was not her sister.
“Kinausap ko po siya one-on-one po kami–sabi ko para mabigyan ng maayos na libing ang ate ko kung siya man talaga yun, aminin [niya] na kung talagang siya (Jovelyn) yung kalansay na yun. Dalawang beses ko siyang tinanong, [ang] sabi nya hindi,” Jonalyn told Sen. Tulfo.
The remains were found on a grassy hill in Barangay Santa Lourdes on August 23 after Dasmariñas supposedly confessed to police the location of the body following his arrest for stabbing another suspect, who turned out to be a close relative, a first cousin, of the missing Jovelyn.
The family had earlier confirmed that several personal items recovered on the scene, including a necklace and a bracelet, indeed belonged to Jovelyn.
Jonalyn also claimed that the pants and underwear found on the same site did not belong to Jovelyn.
As independent forensic practitioners and Facebook netizens expressed doubts on the identity of the recovered remains considering its skeletal state, authorities have opted to keep mum on the case while awaiting the results of a DNA testing.
Jonalyn admitted that Dasmariñas, who is their cousin, is acting weird at times when their family talks to him.
“Yung galaw po ng pinsan ko naweweirdohan na ako. Sabi ko, ‘sige na aminin mo sa akin kung siya ba talaga yung kalansay na natagpuan doon’, tapos ‘hindi’ po ang response niya. Eh, parang takot na takot siya,” she said further.
“Nagtataka po kami bakit kapag kaming pamilya ang [nagtatanong] takot po siya, eh. Tulala lang po siya, ganun. Pero pag may kasama siyang awtoridad, nagugulat kami bakit kumpiyansa siya doon sa sinasabi nya. Hindi sya natatakot,” she added.
Back to square one
The younger Galleno also expressed that their family was not really convinced that it was her sister that was recorded by CCTV riding a multicab in front of Robinsons Palawan. Something their family already knew after watching the video.
“Una pa lang po hindi na ako agree doon. Nagkaisa lang po yung mga kamag anak [kaya napa-oo na rin ako]. Kaya po nung unang una na tinanong nyo ako sa gesture lang ako nagbase kasi malabo po talaga,” she said.
Jonalyn pointed to the city police when asked who had confirmed to them that it was Jovelyn.
“Yung mga kapulisan po, kasi sinasabi din nila na pinag aralan daw nila yung galaw ni Jovelyn, yung gestures, and based din po doon sa shoulder bag na dala dala ni Jovelyn sa right side,” she said.
On the same program, P/Lt. Col. Joseph dela Cruz, chief investigator of the Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO), defended the ongoing investigation, saying that they have witnesses who personally knew and identified Jovelyn as the person who took the multicab before she went missing.
“Meron nang nakakita sa kanya (Jovelyn) noong time na yon. Sinundan namin yong mga naka-install na CCTV na available sa along national highway, na dadaanan po noong ruta noong multicab na yon. Meron kaming nakausap na passenger doon–bale kalugar din nila yon–nakuhanan po natin ng affidavit,” Dela Cruz said.
The Galleno family also admitted that many people were skeptical of the investigation’s findings.
They insisted that there was no evidence of a dead body being dumped in the area where the skeletal remains were discovered on August 23.
“Sa mga nangyayari po kasi, kami personal, nakakausap yung mga tao malapit din po sa mismong bahay na talagang may witness po. Eh, isang tao na nakapunta sa lugar bago ang mga pulis meron pong kalansay na nakita pero yun po ay sa isang hayop.” Jonalyn said.
In the end, the family appealed to the police to include the people around them in the investigation.
“Kaya po gusto ko sana bigyan nila ng pansin yung mga [tao] sa lugar namin para magbigay ng information” she added.
Police mum in the meantime
Meanwhile, the PPCPO has refused to respond to the Galleno family’s recent claims.
P/Cpt. Maria Victoria Iquin, the city police spokesperson, told Palawan News that she believes it is inappropriate for her to comment on the opinions of others in media interviews and social media posts that have nothing to do with the case.
She further said that they will just issue an update once the DNA result is out.
She stated that they are currently preparing and completing documentary requirements for filing appropriate charges while waiting for the DNA results.