MANILA (UPDATE) – A pedicab driver has confessed to raping and killing a 6-year-old girl in Manila.
Suspect Mark Leo Avila, 29, was arrested by barangay and police personnel in Barangay Kahilom Uno in Pandacan, Manila on Monday.
Investigators said one of the evidence against Avila is a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage from the office of Barangay 825 councilor Clemente Esta showing him accompanying the victim, 6-year-old Arlyn Joy Balolong.
"Nagdaan mismo ang bata, na-identify mismo ng ama na iyun ang anak niya," Esta said.
Balolong was found dead at a poorly-lit lot in front of Plaza Dilao along Quirino Avenue in Paco district late Sunday.
She was wearing a white tank top but had no trousers.
Barangay 825, Zone 89 officials said the girl's genitals were lacerated, indicating she is likely a victim of rape. Her head also bore bruises.
Investigators said Avila is a neighbor of the Balolong family, who had recently transferred to the area.
According to Kagawad Eddie Lozada of Barangay 872, Zone 95, the girl was always wandering around the area, asking for loose change from people.
The girl was the fourth of seven children.
Kagawad Freddie Recomanta of Barangay 872, Zone 95 said Avila admitted raping and killing the victim and even narrated how he carried out the crime.
"Niyaya niya ang bata, palibhasa kilala siya ng bata, sumama sa kanya. Dala raw ng kalasingan niya. Kinuwento niya kung paano ginawa. Nung nagsisigaw ang bata tinukuran niya ng siko sa leeg. Palibhasa maingay pa rin, sinakal niya tapos pinalo niya na ng pinalo ang ulo habang nakasakal siya," Recomanta said.
A CCTV captured Avila's arrest. In one of the footage, Avila is shown being shielded by arresting officers from angry residents while he was being boarded to a police car.
Avila, whose wife is pregnant and has a child the age of Balolong, is set to be turned over to the Manila Police District Homicide Section and face Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
Authorities have finished an autopsy of Balolong's body.
– report from Francis Faulve, ABS-CBN News