Cop, 3 others charged over disappearance of beauty pageant candidate

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

November 13, 2023, 6:51 pm

<p>Miss Grand Philippines 2023 candidate Catherine Camilon. (<em>Photo from Catherine Camilon Facebook account)</em></p>

Miss Grand Philippines 2023 candidate Catherine Camilon. (Photo from Catherine Camilon Facebook account)

MANILA – A kidnapping case was filed Monday against four persons, including a police officer, in connection with the disappearance of beauty pageant candidate Catherine Camilon in Batangas City.

In a press briefing held at Camp Crame in Quezon City, Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 4A (Calabarzon) said those charged before the Batangas Provincial Prosecutor's Office were Maj. Allan Avena de Castro, Jeffrey Magpantay and two John Does.

Fajardo said the prosecutor will have at least 10 days to evaluate whether the cases referred by the CIDG will reach preliminary investigation.

"As we speak, the RFU (Regional Field Unit) 4A of the CIDG is preparing other documents to support the case they have filed. We filed a kidnapping case because the victim was reported missing from Oct. 12 and until today, we are still uncertain whether she is still alive or not. If we find additional evidence in the coming days, these will not preclude us from filing additional cases or at least upgrade the case to another offense,” Fajardo said.

De Castro, assigned to the Police Regional Office- 4A and who is allegedly in a relationship with Camilon, is under restrictive custody at the PRO - 4A headquarters.

De Castro was chatting online with Camilon before she disappeared, according to a testimony by the latter’s friend.

Meanwhile, two other witnesses said Magpantay was among the three men who transferred the body of a woman covered in blood from a Nissan Juke to a red Honda CRV on the evening of Oct. 12, hours before the 26-year-old Camilon was reported missing.

Fajardo also said the PNP Forensic Group found strands of hair, blood stains and fingerprints in the abandoned red Honda CR-V which was recovered at a vacant lot in Batangas City on Nov. 8.

Fajardo said the CIDG - 4A is now contacting the family of the victim to obtain a DNA sample for comparison.

The police have also identified the registered owner of the recovered vehicle, which was neither involved in any previous case nor was tagged as a stolen vehicle.

Camilon, of Tuy town, was last seen alive at a mall in Lemery town. She also called up her family to say she was in Bauan and was going to a meeting in Batangas City.

A reward of PHP250,000 was put up for anyone who has credible information on the whereabouts of the beauty pageant candidate who is also a teacher. (PNA)