Two Filipino fugitives have been re-arrested for killing a U.S. Marine in the Philippines five years ago, announced the Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. embassy in the Philippines on Monday, June 18. Another was arrested for obstruction of justice.
“The U.S. embassy in the Philippines welcomes the arrests of Galicano Datu III on June 12 in Mandaluyong City and Crispin dela Paz on June 14 in Marikina City by the National Bureau of Investigation for the violent death of George Anikow on November 24, 2012, bringing some measure of justice to this senseless crime,” said the U.S. embassy in a statement.
“We appreciate the cooperation of Philippine law enforcement authorities in locating and apprehending the perpetrators,” it added.
U.S. Marine Major George Anikow, 41, had moved to the Philippines with his wife who was an American Embassy employee, after serving in Afghanistan. Galicano Datu III and half-Korean Crispin dela Paz stabbed the father of three during a street brawl by his Makati Bel-Air home in November 2012.
Arrested separately on June 12 and 14 in Mandaluyong and Marikina City, Datu and dela Paz were “charged and convicted for brutally killing U.S. Marine Major George Anikow in Bel-Air subdivision near Rockwell Center, Makati City, on November 24, 2012,” said NBI Director Dante Gierran.
A third person, Jimmy Boy David, who is the uncle of Datu, was also reported to have been arrested for obstruction of justice.
According to the NBI, dela Paz was “arrested after a car chase from San Pedro, Laguna, to Marikina City, where he was halted.”
Datu, learning about his arrest warrant issued April 18, “went into hiding in a prominent condominium in Mandaluyong City” that was owned by his girlfriend.
“The subjects were deliberately hiding to evade arrest,” said Gierran.
The two murder suspects were first arraigned with two others in December 2012, but were able to avoid prison time after former Makati City Regional Trial Court Judge Winlove Dumayas downgraded the case from a murder charge to homicide. Though convicted, the two were only given probation.
U.S. Ambassador at the time, Philip Goldberg, expressed disappointment and said no one “served a day for that brutal crime.” He said it was difficult explaining to Anikow’s family as to “why this happened in a case of a very brutal murder.”
Dumayas was dismissed last month by the Philippine Supreme Court and had his retirement benefits removed for his “oppressive disregard” of evidence and ignorance of the law. Datu and dela Paz were given new warrants.