Authorities filed on Thursday criminal charges against an 18-year-old girl and her alleged partner, a member of the Task Force Davao, in connection to the death of a 62-year-old businessman and the subsequent stealing of the victim’s firearms, vehicle and other valuables.
Charges for carnapping and illegal possession of firearms were filed through summary inquest before the City Prosecutor’s Office against Michelle Chai (family name withheld) and militiaman Datuan Madendog Namla.
Police are still studying to file either murder or homicide against the girl. They are also determining the involvement of CAA Namla, 25, in the death of Eduardo Tan Sr.
Chai and Namla were arrested in a follow-up operation on Tuesday five days after the body of the victim was found inside his lumber yard in Coaco, Barangay Pampanga, Buhangin District on June 29.
The Chinese-Filipina suspect, a native of Malita, Davao Occidental who is a transient resident in the city, was said to be the girlfriend of the victim.
The TFD member, a native of Cotabato City, is said to be Chai’s live-in lover.
Chief Insp. Reuben Libera, the commander of Sasa Police Precinct, said the victim’s namesake son, Eduardo Tan Jr., reported to the authorities on June 21 at 1:56 p.m. that his father was missing since June 14.
The young Tan said his father left their house at 9 a.m. that day, driving his gray-colored Toyota Hilux, with plate no. TOF972.
He never returned home since then and his cellphone could not be contacted.
As the stolen vehicle was reported, authorities then immediately sent flash alarm to various police stations in the city and nearby areas. Monitoring in the various streets of the city was then conducted.
At around 7 p.m. of July 3, the vehicle was spotted somewhere in Bajada.
Libera then formed a team of Sasa police officer to conduct a follow-up operation, together with the regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Highway Patrol Unit XI and TFD.
At 11 p.m. that day, the team intercepted the vehicle at the corner of R. Castillo Street and Holy Cross Drive, particularly in front of Minute Burger, in Adgao District.
Authorities then arrested Namla who was driving the vehicle and passenger Chai.
They recovered a Springfield Armory 1911A1 .45 pistol with a magazine loaded with 10 ammunitions, bearing serial no. NM12140, from the possession of Namla.
A Taurus PT 92 AFS .9mm pistol with a magazine loaded with five ammunitions, bearing serial no. TRK 86551, was likewise seized from Chai’s possession.
Also recovered from Chai were one Nokia cellphone and two bank books.
The guns, cellphone and bank books were owned by the victim.
Libera said “the girl self-confessed that she shot the businessman.”
In a TV interview, the girl said Tan pointed a gun to her.
This prompted her to wrestle for the possession of the gun. It went off, hitting the trader.
She fled bringing the vehicle and the firearm.
The girl reportedly contacted Namla later.
Both suspects are still in the custody of Sasa Police Station.