Killer of 5-year-old meted life
After more than 14 years of waiting, a grieving mother finally got justice for the kidnapping and killing of her 5-year-old daughter and her yaya (nanny).
The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 5 on Monday found Monico Santos guilty beyond reasonable doubt for kidnapping with double homicide and meted him reclusion perpetua (life term). His accomplice, Francis Canoza, was also convicted and slapped with an indeterminate sentence of 10 years and one day to 15 years and six months. The court also ordered the duo to pay P500,000 in moral damages.
Teresa Ang-See, founding chairperson of the Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO), described the case as the longest they had so far, with the entire process taking 14 years and two months to judge.
“It is not the sweetest justice we have hoped for but it is still justice,” she said.
Santos was hired to fetch Eunice Kaye Chuang and her nanny to and from school on a daily basis. However, on October 17, 2000 or just three days into the job, Santos kidnapped Chuang and her nanny, Jovita Montecino, 27, and took them to a house in Malolos, Bulacan. They were hogtied, gagged and left to die by suffocation.
Police investigation showed that Montecino was raped before her death. A separate rape complaint was filed against the two men before the courts in Malolos, Bulacan.
Judge Mona Lisa Tiongson-Tabora, ruled that the two could not hide under their denials and alibis.
“Undoubtedly, Monico was caught red-handed. While arguably no witness was presented to pinpoint Monico as the kidnapper and how he was able to commit the crime that led to the death of the victims, nothing speaks more eloquently than the gruesome evidence discovered in his sister’s house,” she said.
Architect Ka Kuen Chua, MRPO chairperson, said the decision, along with the recent conviction of “kidnapper” Dennis Roldan, showed the commitment of his group to stamp out criminality and in helping kidnap victims and their families.