The Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) announced Friday, August 19, the arrest of a 43-year-old man who was tagged behind the rape and killing of a 15-year-old girl in Bulacan.
Police Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee, PNP-CIDG director, identified the suspect as Gaspar M. Maneja Jr. alias “Jose Francisco Santos,” of Brgy. Veneracion, Pamplona, Camarines Sur. He has multiple counts of rape and child abuse cases under his name.
Maneja was apprehended by joint police and military forces led by the CIDG Camarines Sur Provincial Field Unit (PFU) around 12 noon Thursday, August 18, in his house after being linked to the rape-slay case of 15-year old Princess Marie Dumantay.
According to Lee, Maneja was nabbed by virtue of warrants of arrest for rape (Revised Penal Code Art. 266-A) and two counts of violation of Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, all issued by Judge Ma. Cristina Geronimo Juanson, presiding judge of the Third Judicial Regional Branch 5 in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan in 2021.
Police investigation showed that Dumantay went missing on the night of August 10 after meeting with a certain “Jose Francisco Santos” in Quezon City.
It was learned that the victim, a frequent biker, was promised with a bicycle by the suspect so she agreed to meet with him in Quezon City. The two reportedly met through an online game and even played together moments before the victim went missing.
The PNP-CIDG said that the victim was often seen boarding a black Toyota Wigo (EAE 2913) driven by the suspect at the Neopolitan Subdivision Business Park in Quezon City. Coordination was made with the Land Transportation Office where it was found out that the vehicle was registered to the suspect, only that his real name is Gaspar Maneja Jr.
Dumantay’s body was found in a grassy area by the roadside in Bustos, Bulacan on August 12. Citing witnesses, the PNP-CIDG said that she was last seen alive boarding the suspect’s car.
Police said that Dumantay’s body bore traces of cigarette burns, bruises, and strangulation, indicating that she suffered from the hands of her tormentor before being killed. An autopsy report then revealed that she was also raped before she died.
The arrest of the suspect came after Bulacan Gov. Daniel Fernando gave an ultimatum to the police to solve the case within 48 hours since Monday.
Maneja was placed under the custody of the CIDG in Camarines Sur and is expected to be transferred to the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Friday.
“The arrest of Maneja is a winning slate for the CIDG in its effective campaign against wanted criminals and for the PRO-3 [Central Luzon Police Regional Office] for the immediate resolution of the rape-slay case in Bulacan. With this united effort from the police, justice was once again served,” Lee said.
Additional charges for rape with homicide and using fictitious name and concealing true name were filed against the suspect before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Malolos, Bulacan.