The suspect in the rape-slay of Princess Marie Dumantay was arrested by police during a manhunt operation in Barangay Veneracion, Pamplona, Camarines Sur on Thursday. Aug. 18.
Lt. Col. Jacquiline P. Puapo, officer-in-charge of Bulacan Police Provincial Office, identified the suspect as Gaspar Madredano Maneja Jr. alias Jose Francisco Santos.
The suspect was arrested by combined operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of Police Regional Office (PRO5) and the Bulacan PNP.
Princess Marie, 15, was found in a grassy area of a bypass road in Barangay Bonga Menor, Bustos, Bulacan last Friday, Aug. 12, a few days after she went missing.
Her body was later identified by her father, Rolando Dumantay, 62, a traffic enforcer, of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.
The girl’s body bore traces of cigarette burns. The forensic autopsy report revealed that the victim was raped before she was killed.
Victim’s brother Paulo Dumantay told police that he last saw his sister on Aug. 10 at 8:00 a.m. at their residence. She told him that she was going to meet a certain Jose Francisco Santos who will give her a bicycle.
Investigators learned that a male friend of the victim picked her up at 5:00 p.m. on the same day. She boarded his bike and he dropped her off at the Commonwealth Hospital.
He was able to get in touch with her at 8:00 p.m. on the same day and played an online game. They chat at 10:00 p.m. but by 10:54 p.m., the victim was unable to respond to his message.
Probers also gathered that Princess Marie was a frequent biker at the Neopolitan Subdivision Business Park in Quezon City.
According to a bike accessories vendor in the area, Princess Marie was frequently seen boarding a black Toyota Wigo with plate number EAE 2913, driven by a certain Jose Francisco Santos, a regular visitor at the Business Park.
A vendor told police that the man was last seen in the Business Park on Aug. 10, and information surfaced that he went to Camarines Sur, Bicol.
Probers learned from a cashier at a gas station on Belfast Ave. in Pasong Putik 2, Novaliches, Quezon that the Toyota Wigo refueled around 5 p.m. on Aug. 10.
Through the photos shown to her by police, the cashier identified driver of the car as Jose Francisco Santos and his companion as Princess Marie Dumantay.
The Bulacan PNP coordinated with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in San Rafael, Bulacan, on Aug. 16, where they learned that the Toyota Wigo belonged to Jomer Madredano Maneja of Barangay Veneracion (Taguilid), Pamplona, Camarines Sur.
Jomer Maneja, in a sworn statement, said he gave up the ownership of the car to his brother, Gaspar Maneja Jr., in August 2021, since he could no longer pay the monthly amortization.
Police found out that Gaspar Maneja Jr alias Jose Francisco Santos has three outstanding arrest warrants for violation of Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act), and rape without bail.
The Bulacan PNP filed cases of rape with homicide, use of fictitious name and concealing true name against the suspect before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Malolos City, Bulacan under Senior Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Catherine E. Rutor-Reyes.