(Google map of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur)

DIGOS CITY – Policemen in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur province have arrested the prime suspect in a double homicide and rape case involving two minors whose bodies were discovered inside their house in Purok Mangga, Sitio Landing, Barangay Darong on Friday.

In a police report, Sta. Cruz police station commander, Lt. Col.Kristopher Sabsal, said the crime was discovered early in the morning of November 11 after a neighbor heard the victims screaming for help at about 1 a.m. but he reportedly ignored it.

Out of curiosity, the neighbor, identified only as Ronel, went to the house where he thought the voices emanated.

When he entered the house, he discovered the bloodied bodies of the 15-year-old and 11-year-old victims.

This was immediately reported to the police through its hotline who in turn rushed to the scene and conducted an ocular investigation.

The police learned that the minors were living with their stepfather and the mother of the victims is working in Saudi Arabia.

Jessie Bon Palomo, the stepfather could no longer be reached, prompting the policemen to conduct a pursuit operation.

Upon learning that Palomo is a resident of Cotabato City, Sabsal alerted his counterparts in Soccsksargen to help them block the fleeing suspect.

Just a few hours after the discovery of the crime, the police arrested Palomo while in transit in Banisilan town in North Cotabato.

Palomo was arrested in possession of an improvised 12-gauge homemade shotgun and a sachet of suspected shabu.

Police investigators are still establishing the motive behind the crime and how the suspect killed his stepdaughters, which will be based on the findings of the PNP forensic laboratory personnel. (PNA)