TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains potentially distressing materials.
When Jovelyn Galleno went missing on August 5, some Sitio Pulang Lupa residents in Barangay Sta. Lourdes banded together to support her family in their desperate search for her.
Purok president Edward Lachica told Palawan News on Tuesday morning that they searched their barangay after her disappearance, but found no trace of Jovelyn, not even her personal belongings.
This is why, when police and other search authorities showed up in Pulang Lupa this morning, Lachica couldn’t believe human remains and personal belongings thought to be Jovelyn’s would be found in one of the areas they already searched.
“Gabi pa lang, kinabukasan, naghanap na kami–naghalughog na kami sa area na ito, mula doon hanggang dito. Kasi dito may kamotehan, may naglilinis dito, yong matanda, yong kapitbahay namin naglilinis dito. Araw-araw siyang nag-aano ng kanyang kamote,” he said.
Police are looking into whether the remains and personal items found around 1 a.m. this morning in Brgy. Santa Lourdes belongs to Jovelyn Galleno, who has been reported missing.
Search authorities found skeletal remains, several IDs, a wallet, a vaxx card, a cellphone charger, and other items in a spot hidden in thick vegetation in Sitio Pulang Lupa in the said barangay in Puerto Princesa City.
The director of the Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO), P/Col. Roberto Bucad, stated that they are waiting for scene of crime operatives (SOCO) to confirm if the skeletal remains are those of Jovelyn, who was reported missing by her relatives on August 5, 2022.
“Inaayos pa namin at inaantay ang confirmation ng SOCO,” Bucad said, adding that they are currently waiting for some information before issuing a full statement.
Stabbing incident involving relatives
If a city police spot report signed by Police Station 2 chief P/Maj. Noel Manalo is to be believed, Jovelyn’s alleged remains were discovered after a stabbing incident around 1:30 a.m. on August 21 involving her cousins in Pulang Lupa.
It stated that those involved in the incident were Jovert Agallieno Valdestamon and Leobert Agallieno Dasmariñas. The former was the reported victim, while the latter was the suspect. Both of them were arrested on Sunday.
The report stated that in the wee hours of that day, Leobert stabbed Jovert three times in the back following a “heated argument.” He escaped with the bladed weapon that was used until his arrest.
Manalo said Leobert wanted to silence Jovert so there would be no witness to the rape-slaying of Jovelyn, which they allegedly committed.
The PS 2 chief said further that, based on their initial investigation, the two always talk about what they did to Jovelyn during their drinking sessions.
“Gustong patayin ng suspek ang biktima para walang maging testigo. Kasi malapit ng magkabukingan. Libog lang ang dahilan. Matagal na nilang pinagplaplanuhan na may dudukutin silang babae,” Manalo said.
“Sa nakuha naming info, may nakarinig na may ganito silang plano. Sa mga inuman nila nababanggit yan, pero hindi matukoy kung sinong babae. Doon kami nagsimulang mag-imbestiga. Saka isa pa sa naging malakas ang duda namin, itong suspek hindi man lang nababalisa o tumulong man lang maghanap sa biktima na si Jovelyn,” he added, citing both suspects admitted to the crime during investigation.
Jovelyn’s body dumped in the area
PPCPO investigation chief P/Col. Joseph dela Cruz alleged that the suspects dumped her body in the open field after committing her rape-slay.
He said both were drunk when they committed the crime.
“Si Dasmariñas na suspek sa stabbing incident (noong 1:30 ng August 21), ang pinagmulan talaga ng away nila. Based sa interrogation at questioning, bandang huli umamin si Dasmarinas, itinuro niya ang pinagtapunan sa bangkay ni Jovelyn,” Dela Crus said.
“Matagal na nilang plano ito. Natuloy na lang nang August 5. Inabangan si Jovelyn, matapos na ginawa ang masamang balak, itinapon sa lugar ang katawan nito,” he added.
The SOCO had already processed the area, he explained, but the skeletal remains will be subjected to examination before they state their conclusion regarding the missing person’s case.
“Base lang muna tayo sa naging pahayag ng mga suspek at mga gamit ng biktima. Ang nakuhang mga buto ng tao subject for examination, may gagawin pang proseso ang SOCO para masigurado na si Jovelyn nga ang nandoon,” Dela Cruz said.
Jovelyn’s family had been asked to come to the scene to identify her remains and possessions, and according to sources at the PPCPO, they have confirmed that the personal items found were hers.
Many speculations have circulated on social media since Jovelyn’s disappearance, including one from a man who claimed to have seen her aboard a vehicle in Brgy. Santa Cruz on August 16, 2022.
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