For veterans by veterans
A home invasion has upset the balance in what has been a island of calm for hundreds of US military retiree’s and their families in the Philippine ‘City of Angels’ a massacre of a couple and thee members of their household has broken the calm of the gated village where they lived.
Albert Mitchell, 70, who was past commander from 2006-2008 of the Veteran of Foreign War post 2485 his wife Janet, 53; along with members of their household, Isabel Fajardo, Marissa Prado, and Yulberto Vergara according to police reports were, Shot execution style with a 9mm pistol at close range.
The victims were discovered in the house owned by the Mitchell, under the Philippine retirement law which allows foreign retiree’s to own a home a small business.
Now the home of Mitchell on Manuela St. of the Hensonville Court, Barangay Malabanias is being studied by US law enforcement in its own investigation in support of Philippine law enforcement.
At American retiree’s homes in many communities in Angeles City, Pampanga many are worried, as night fell Thursday most took extra care for safety.
Thousands of American citizens live in the community many have lived here for generations. Most married to Filipina’s, met the men as they served during the operation of the now defunct Clark Air Force Base, hundreds of these men stayed on even after the base closed down.
Many have huge families retirement pay from US military service made life comfortable for those who stayed.
A lot worked for US companies, or put up their own businesses in the country that many had lived in longer than United States of America where they were born.
Both Philippine and American authorities are studying the case and possible involvement of criminal gangs in the area who have attacked other nationalities in past home invasion styled attacks.
Most of these groups are allegedly linked to Korean, Australian, and, British organized crime groups with ties to local criminal gangs who have been for decades at odds with US retiree’s.
MANILA (AFP) - – An American man and four others were on Thursday found shot dead at his rented home in the northern Philippines, police said.
Albert Mitchell, described as an elderly US citizen, was attacked along with three women and another man who lived with him at the house inside the gated community in Angeles, about two hours' drive north of Manila, police said.
Police are looking for a single suspect, a man who had visited Mitchell earlier Thursday before the bodies were discovered by a security guard at the housing enclave, said the city police chief, Superintendent Danilo Bautista.
The motive for the attack was not known. US embassy spokesmen in Manila could not be immediately reached for comment.
Ex-US Air Force man, 4 others killed in Angeles robbery
By Tonette Orejas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:59:00 07/22/2010
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines—Police are hunting down a lone suspect in the killing of a retired United States Air Force master sergeant, his Filipino wife and three helpers inside their house in Angeles City, north of here, at past 1 p.m. on Thursday.
The couple Albert and Jeanette Mitchell and their househelp Marissa Prado, Isabel Fajardo and Boy Vergara were found dead in various places in the house at 18 Manuela St., Hensonville Court Subd. in Barangay Malabanias, according to Senior Supt. Danilo Bautista, the city police director.
Investigators found empty 9-mm shells, Bautista said in a first police update released at 8 p.m.
The suspect wore a white shirt and maroon shorts with six pockets. He was about 5’6’’ tall, in his early 30s, medium-built, white complexioned, according to Angelito Prado, a security guard who had apprehended the suspect on suspicion of theft.
Prado, still unaware of the killings, held the suspect but had to leave him at the guard house when he rushed out to check the Mitchells’ house following a report that dead bodies were discovered there. The man was gone when Prado returned to the guard house.
“The manhunt is still on,” Bautista said, adding that at least three witnesses have come forward to help investigators in identifying the assailant, who fit the description of the man Prado had apprehended.
Robbery is initially believed to be the motive because some things that the suspect left at the guard house could have come from the Mitchell’s house, he said.
This was the third robbery with murder since last week. A Briton and a Canadian were the previous victims, it was learned.
ANGELES CITY, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - An American war veteran, his Filipino wife and three domestic helpers were found dead inside their residence by authorities early afternoon here on Thursday, police said.
Senior Supt. Danilo Bautista, acting director of the Angeles City Police Office (ACPO), identified the victims as Albert Mitchell, 70, a member of the Veteran of Foreign War (VFW) stationed in Barangay Lakandula; his wife Janet, 53; domestic helpers Isabel Fajardo, Marissa Prado, and Yulberto Vergara.
The victims were found by scene of the crime investigators in different places inside the house owned by the Mitchell, located along Manuela St., Hensonville Court, Barangay Malabanias.
Hensonville Court is an exclusive subdivision where foreigners, mostly retirees, reside. The place is a well-secured area, with sentinels posted for 24 hours.
Residents told reporters that it was the first big crime that happened inside the subdivision.
The victims, initial reports said, were shot at point-blank range by the suspects. All of them, including Mitchell's domestic helpers, bore gunshot wounds.
According to police, the suspects entered Mitchell's house at around noon on Thursday. When they exited the subdivision's gate, a guard stopped them to see if they were leaving with some stolen goods.
However, the suspects managed to escape. Police were conducting pursuit operations against the suspects.
Police suspect robbery may have been the motive behind the killings since the suspects left behind what appears to be goods taken from Mitchell's house.
A bag containing a DVD player and different cable cords were left behind by the suspects.
The security guards on duty at the time of the incident were also questioned by the police. The guard vowed to help and cooperate with the police in the investigation.
Jonner Alarcon Adraneda, older brother of Janet, said he talked to his sister at around 8: a.m. on Thursday.
He said her sister confided to him about a huge amount of cash she had lent to some of her friends. She also told him she was having difficulties collecting the money from the borrowers.
Andraneda, a native of Iloilo City who now stays in Sitio Bangkal, Barangay Malabanias, said he left his sister's residence and went on with his daily activities as a tricycle driver.
At around 3 p.m., Andraneda said a fellow tricycle driver told him that his sister was among those killed.
Crime laboratory personnel who processed the scene found several spent 9mm caliber pistol casings.
Chief Supt. Arturo Cacdac Jr., director of the Central Luzon Police, ordered the Angeles City Police Office (ACPO) and Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) to bring all the evidence gathered from the crime scene.
Cacdac said he has coordinated with the Composite Investigation Unit of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame, Quezon City for the cartographic sketches of the suspects.
So far, Cacdac said the ACPO has three witnesses. "Hopefully, we can get some lead against the suspects."- report from Gracie Rutao, ABS-CBN Pampanga; Jess Malabanan