MANILA - Ten years ago, Enzo Pastor and Dahlia Guerrero were the picture of a perfect couple, according to Top Gear Philippines editor-in-chief Vernon Sarne.
Speaking to ANC's "Top Story" on Friday, Sarne recalled his 2004 interview with the then 22-year-old Pastor and 18-year-old Dhalia when he was still the motoring editor of The Manila Times.
Sarne said the two first met at a promotional event for a race series at the NBC Tent. Dahlia was then promoting the Ford Lynx Cup. They were introduced to each other by race car driver JP Tuason.
In an article published on the website of Top Gear Philippines, Sarne said: "Ten years ago, I would have sworn those two would live blissfully ever after."
He said he could not help but feel "dispirited" now that reports of Dahlia allegedly having an extra-marital affair and being considered by the police as a primary suspect in the murder of Pastor have surfaced.
In the ANC interview, he admitted that even before the police said that they are looking at love triangle as the motive behind the June 12 killing of the race car driver, he had already been hearing rumors of Pastor's wife having an affair.
"Hindi ko masasabi kung totoo o hindi. But yes, I will admit na may mga whispers. Nag-surface talaga ito nung namatay na si Enzo. Napag-usapan na nga na may anggulo nung relationship, nung affair," he said.
Sarne noted that the Pastor couple's relationship had been "on and off."
"On-off on-off kasi yung relationship nila eh. Sometimes they would separate, and then they would go back together again. Parang ganun. But during the time of his death, I think they were together again."
He confirmed that like Pastor, Domingo "Sandy" De Guzman III -- the alleged mastermind and the man who Dahlia allegedly had an affair with -- was also a race car driver.
He said De Guzman sometimes participated in the Circuit Showdown, the race series organized by Pastor.
"Every now and then yung name ni Sandy would appear, meaning nagpa-participate siya," he said.
But he said that he is not aware if there had been any rivalry between Pastor and De Guzman in the racing world.
Pastor was shot dead last June 12 at a stoplight along Visayas Avenue corner Congressional Avenue.
The self-confessed gunman, PO2 Edgar Angel, pointed to De Guzman as the mastermind in the killing. He said De Guzman and Dahlia had an affair. He said Dahlia was even present when he and De Guzman talked about their plan to kill Pastor.
Angel also claimed that Dahlia was a battered wife. He said De Guzman showed him a picture of Dahlia covered with bruises.
"Allegedly may pinakita si Sandy na picture kay Egay (Angel) na si Dahlia may pasa. Allegedly binubugbog ni Enzo," Chief Insp. Rodel Marcelo of the Quezon City Police District said.
De Guzman has been charged with murder, frustrated murder, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. Angel has also been charged with murder and frustrated murder.
Dahlia, meanwhile, has been charged with parricide and frustrated murder.
The Bureau of Immigration has issued a lookout bulletin for Dahlia, who remains at large.