2 students linked to OFW's death surface, claim strangers joined brawl
Two female students who were linked to the group accused of killing a vacationing OFW during a bar brawl in Quezon City last Saturday surfaced on Friday to clear their names and to shed light on the incident.
A report by GMA News' Cesar Apolinario on "24 Oras" said the two claimed that a group of strangers joined their friends in the brawl that left Abigail Gino Basas dead and his companion injured at the bar's parking lot.
"Nanadyak po sila, tinadyakan po nila si Gino tsaka nanuntok rin po sila," said one of the suspects, both of whom requested not to be identified for safety reasons.
The two, who went to the Quezon City Police District headquarters in Camp Karingal, said they decided to go to the police because they are fearing for their safety after they were named suspects in the killing.
"Bilang babae, sobrang matatakot ka. Parang in-accuse ka na ng bagay na hindi mo ginawa. Hindi kami makapasok. As in, parang lumiit yung mundo namin," one of them said.
The report said the two narrated to the police the events that led to the brawl. One of them said they only tried to break the fight between their friends and Basas and his companion.
The two confirmed that the brawl stemmed from an incident inside the bar when Basas accidentally bumped Marzan Piti-ilan. They said Piti-ilan reported the incident to his friends—identified as Jameel Haron Benito, Cyril Angelo Rada, Earl Brian Caliwag Grande, and Angelo Mark Morata—to help him confront Basas.
"Nung nadatnan ko na po dun [sa parking lot], nakahiga na yung victim," said the female suspect, adding Basas was already bloodied at that time. "May tumalsik dito sa braso ko."
Basas' death certificate said he died from "blunt traumatic injuries" to the head. Investigators said the suspects may have used brass knuckles in beating him.
According to the QCPD, three female suspects had surrendered to the police on Wednesday and Thursday.
QCPD chief Supt. Guillero Eleazar said Piti-ilan and his four cohorts, including several John Does, will be charged with murder and frustrated murder.
"Napuntahan natin yung mga lugar nila pero wala na sila dun. So kung 'di sila bibigyan ng statement natin, so we are constrained to file murder case against them," he said. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News