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Suspects in Catherine Camilon case charged with kidnapping, illegal detention

By Brooke Villanueva Published Nov 13, 2023 8:37 pm Updated Nov 13, 2023 8:48 pm

Four suspects who have been linked to the case of missing beauty queen Catherine Camilon are now facing complaints in line with kidnapping and illegal detention.

Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said in a Nov. 13 press conference that the persons who have been charged over the victim's disappearance include Maj. Allan Avena de Castro and his personal driver and bodyguard Jeffrey Magpantay as well as two John Does. 

Fajardo said that the CIDG's Regional Field Unit 4A "is preparing other documents" to back the case they have filed.

"We filed a kidnapping case because the victim was reported missing from Oct. 12 and until today, we are still uncertain whether she is still alive or not. If we find additional evidence in the coming days, these will not preclude us from filing additional cases or at least upgrade the case to another offense," he explained.

Quoting Fajardo, the Philippine News Agency reported that the prosecutor "will have at least 10 days to evaluate whether the cases referred by the CIDG will reach preliminary investigation."

Love angle as possible motive for the crime

A love angle is being considered by authorities as a possible motive for the case. According to a testimony by Camilon's friend, De Castro—who is allegedly in a relationship with the beauty queen—was chatting with Camilon before she was reported missing. The police officer is now under restrictive custody at the headquarters of the Police Regional Office 4A.

"Allegedly, before nawala si Miss Camilon ay siya 'yung tatagpuin niya. Gusto nang makipaghiwalay kay Maj. Allan de Castro at maybe this is one of the reasons siguro bakit nag-away sila," Major General Romeo Caramat Jr. told GMA's 24 Oras.

Two witnesses, who recently came forward to help with the investigation, said Magpantay was one of the three men that they spotted transferring a bloodied woman from one vehicle to another the night before Camilon disappeared. They claimed that Magpantay pointed a gun at them after they saw the victim. The sports utility vehicle connected to the case has been recovered by the Batangas City Police Station at a vacant lot along the corner of Dumuclay Road and Star Tollway in Barangay Pallocan East.

In a Facebook post on Oct. 13, Catherine's sister Chin-Chin called on the beauty queen's colleague who was with her the night before she went missing to help them reach her. Chin-Chin said Catherine called at 8 p.m. on Oct. 12, but her phone went dead the next morning.

Catherine, who hails from Tuy in Batangas, was last spotted in a shopping mall in Lemery on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m., hours before she was reported missing. She, however, last told her mother Rosario that she was at a gasoline station in Bauan.

The beauty queen said she’d go to Batangas City for a meeting with Balisong Channel, an online media company where she was a former talent. But Balisong Channel said Catherine didn't visit its office and was last there on Dec. 13, 2021.

Catherine joined Miss Grand Philippines last July, during which Nikki De Moura of Cagayan de Oro won the crown.

Aside from being a beauty queen, Catherine is also a public school teacher in Tuy.