By Ariel P. Avendaño and Mar T. Supnad
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija/Camp Olivas, Pampanga — Police arrested Friday night the primary suspect in the family massacre in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija.
Chief Superintendent Amador V. Corpus, regional director (RD) of the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3), said 34-year-old suspect Jessie Flores Tesoro was caught off guard when police arrested him at 7:45 p.m. at his hiding place in Barangay Cut-Cut 1, Tarlac City.
About 15 hours earlier, Tesoro was seen running away from a bloody crime scene in Purok 6, Barangay Tambo-Adorable in San Leonardo – where six bodies were found with multiple knife and hack wounds.
Killed were Tesoro’s live-in partner Jennifer Cariaga, 24; and their housemates Leonila Caballero, 48; Caballero’s children Sergio, 29; Amy, 12; and Joshua, 10; and Sonny Custodio.
“I might not have done it if I was not under the influence of liquor,” Tesoro was quoted by police as saying in Filipino. He allegedly killed them using a bolo, said Corpus.
Enraged after a quarrel with Cariaga the night before, Tesoro also attacked Annalyn Caballero, 19, who managed to run out for help despite her wounds. She is now recuperating at a hospital in Cabanatuan City.
Two children who were in the house during the attack – Judy Ann Cariaga, 5; and Shane Custodio, 1 – were unharmed.
“I really spared the two kids because I know they cannot testify against me,” probers quoted the suspect as having told them.