Faith healer’s aide nabbed for murder
Police on Monday arrested an aide of Balamban faith healer Casciano Apduhan in relation to the death of a 14-year-old boy in 2011.
Zacarias Barquio, 44, was caught inside Tsuneishi Heavy Industries where he works as a lead man and fitter.
Senior Supt. Noel Gillamac, director of Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO), said Barquio is the third most wanted man in Balamban.
Barquio, a resident of barangay Buanoy in Balamban town, west Cebu, is facing murder charges for purportedly conspiring with Apduhan in killing 14-year-old Angelo Repuelo.
Repuelo’s remains were recovered by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in an underground chamber located at the faith healer’s home.
Judge Ruben Altubar of the Regional Trial Court Branch 29 in Toledo City earlier issued an arrest warrant against Barquio for murder, a non-bailable offense.
When presented before the media yesterday at the CPPP Headquarters, Barquio denied any wrongdoing and also cleared Apduhan from any liability.
He said he only helped bury Angelo’s body upon the request of the boy’s father.
He said Apduhan was in Negros when the boy was buried and he did not promise to revive the child.
“I did not go into hiding, I was there (Tsuneishi ) to work,” he said in Cebuano.
Apduhan, whose reputation as a faith healer earned him a loyal following in the village, remains in jail following his arrest last March 26, 2014.
Repuelo’s parents, who worked on the farm, believed Apduhan offered their son as “padugo” (offering) for a pot of gold. The cause of death was not established as no autopsy was conducted and only the bones were found.
Apduhan is facing separate charges of serious illegal detention and illegal possession of firearms in another court for allegedly keeping 33-year-old Emma Nepomuceno.
Nepomuceno, who was earlier rescued by NBI agents from the house, testified in court and denied having been detained by Apduhan.
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