Davantes slay suspects face robbery with homicide charges
MANILA, Philippines – The justice department on Thursday, September 26, recommended the filing of robbery with homicide charges against two suspects in the killing of 25-year-old advertising executive Kristelle "Kae" Davantes.
Reggie Diel and Lloyd Benedict Enriquez will be facing charges for the special complex crime of robbery with homicide before the Las Piñas Regional Trial Court, said senior deputy state prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.
Diel and Enriquez are currently in police custody.
In a 13-page inquest resolution, the Department of Justice (DOJ) also recommended further preliminary investigation for suspects Samuel Decimo, Kelvin Jorek Evangelista, Jomar Pepito, and Baser Minalang.
Decimo is under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), while Evangelista and Pepito are with the police. Minalang is still at large.
According to the DOJ, robbery was the main motive of the 6. In statements to media, Decimo said the group did not intend to kill Davantes and only did so because she saw their car's plate number.
Davantes's body was found under a bridge in Silang, Cavite, a few hours after she was kidnapped in front of her house in Las Piñas City. She died of asphyxiation and stab wounds.
The 6 took with them Davantes' phones, laptop, and P3,000 in cash. The Philippine National Police earlier filed robbery with homicide and qualified carnapping charges against the 6.
The DOJ found no probably cause for the qualified carnapping charge because "the intent of the respondents to sell the said car was merely an afterthought."
Decimo, meanwhile, faces a separate robbery case for a jeepney holdup in Bacoor, Cavite, committed the day he was apprehended by the NBI for the Davantes case. According to the complainant Dexter Santos, Decimo was assisted by at least 6 individuals in executing the crime.
Santos identified Baser, Evangelista, and Pepito as co-perpetrators in the robbery. NBI operatives were already in Bacoor after receiving reports of the presence of a criminal group in the area.
Decimo was arrested without a warrant on September 20 for the robbery incident. He later confessed before media that he stabbed Davantes.
The DOJ also recommended a regular preliminary investigation for Evangelista on October 7 in connection with the same jeepney robbery incident. Meanwhile, the DOJ recommended a preliminary investigation be held in abeyance until Baser and Pepito's identities be confirmed. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com