Construction worker Carmelino Ibañes, the only prime suspect arrested in the gruesome Bulacan massacre last June 27, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment for five counts of murder and rape on Friday.
Prior to the reading of charges, Ibañes’ counsel, lawyer Jose Cruz, manifested in open court an urgent motion for the suspension of arraignment and asked that the accused be committed to a psychiatric ward at the National Center for Mental Health.
He said Ibañes must undergo psychiatric evaluation to determine his mental state considering previous the inconsistent statements he made after his arrest whereby he admitted to the crime before police investigators and members of media but later retracted his confession and claimed he was tortured to own up the crime.
However, Judge Gregorio Sampaga of the Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 78 told Cruz to initiate a written motion for Ibañes’ psychiatric test as he ordered that the arraignment proceed.
San Jose Del Monte chief of police Supt. Fitz Macariola said they are now preparing to transfer Ibañes to the Bulacan Provincial Jail after the judge issued the commitment order.
Ibañes, 26, admitted that he killed all the victims: Aurora Dizon; her daughter Estrella Carlos; and Estrella’s children Donny, 11; Ella, 7; and Dexter, 1. He also confessed to having raped Estrella.