US Marine's murder in Bel-Air caught on cam

report from Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2012 07:49 PM | Updated as of Nov 28 2012 06:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera recorded the mauling and stabbing of a member of the US Mission to the Philippines by 4 men in Makati on November 24.

The CCTV footage from the corner of Rockwell Drive and Kalayaan Avenue in Bel-Air, Makati City at around 4 a.m. Saturday shows the victim, George Anikow, walking home to Bel-Air Subdivision.

He asked the guard how he could get in.

The guard answered that the gate is always closed between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

"Dumating ang biktima sa oras na 3:50 at lumapit sa akin at nagtatanong kung papano siya makakapasok sa gate na sarado ng Bel-Air Subdivision. Kasalukuyan nagche-checkpoint ako," according to a statement from the guard on duty, whose identity has been withheld.

A Volvo car then arrived with 4 men on board.

The guard asked where they were going and checked their IDs.

Anikow suddenly joined the conversation and hit the side of the car with his hand.

"You need to present your ID. The guard is asking for it," he was quoted by the guard as saying.

It drew the ire of the 4 men, who got off the vehicle. A confrontation then ensued and escalated into a mauling.

"Ikinagalit ng apat na suspect. Tumigil, bumaba nagmumura, 'Gago ka!' Inaawat ko biglang sumugod ang biktima. Noong nagtatalo pa lang, tumawag na ako ng response," the guard said.

The CCTV video shows how the 4 men ganged up on the American.

Anikow managed to run nearly 10 meters, but the suspects caught up, continued the beating and stabbed him.

The 4 men then walked away and threatened the guard not to take down the license plate number of their vehicle.

However, they were not aware that security officers were already alerted. They set up a steel barrier at the corner of Rockwell Drive and Estrella to prevent the suspects from fleeing.

Rockwell Security and police then cornered the 4 suspects identified as Juan Alfonso Abastillas, Crispin dela Paz, Galicano Datu III, and Osric Cabrera.

Anikow sustained 3 stab wounds. He was brought to a hospital, but died after three hours.

Police recovered from the suspects a tactical knife used in the crime. They consider the case as murder.

"Murder dahil may treachery, fistfight lang pero me panaksak na pala,"said Senior Superintendent Manuel Lukban, police chief of Makati City.

Authorities are now looking for a taxi driver who also saw the whole incident.

A lawyer of the suspects said they are still studying the case and declined to issue a statement for now.

"Very sorry ma'am. We are still assessing all the prosecution statements given to us. Can't give yet any official statements. Hope you understand our situation. Thanks so much ma'am," Atty. Jacinto Ende told ABS-CBN News in a text message.

The US embassy condemned the killing. It confirmed that Anikow is a member of the US mission to the Philippines and a husband of an embassy staff member.

"We appreciate the close cooperation of the Philippine authorities in a careful and speedy investigation and prosecution of this crime, so that the perpetrators may be brought to justice," said Tina Malone, press and information officer of the US embassy in Manila.

The US embassy, however, denied on Tuesday that FBI agents will be coming to Manila to conduct its own probe. - ANC