Reah Mae Tocmo murder

Simeon Gabutero enters not guilt plea

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 21,2024 - 05:27 PM

Reah Mae Tocmo

Reah Mae Tocmo and Simeon Gabutero Jr.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Simeon Gabutero has recanted his earlier confession that he killed his ‘girlfriend’ Reah Mae Tocmo.

Gabutero entered a not guilty plea during the arraignment of his murder case on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

ALSO READ: Gabutero reiterates: I killed Reah Mae Tocmo, I was not forced to admit it

But Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said that there was nothing to worry because they have an airtight case against him.

“We have in our possession extrajudicial confession which were taken in accord with the rules and procedures. Naay mga witnesses. Naa tay video, katong gina-require sa pagkuha sa extra-judicial confessions,” he said.

Pelare has expressed confidence that they will still get a conviction for Gabutero. But he begged off from making any further statements on the case since this has been elevated to court.

“We are not allowed already to speak about a case which is already in court under the subjudicy rule. Bawal ta comment,” he said. 


Gabutero was tagged as the prime suspect in the brutal death of Tocmo, whose body was stuffed inside a box that was found along the road in Barangay Tisa, Cebu City on July 17, 2023. 

ALSO READ: Reah Mae Tocmo’s killer said he did it out of jealousy

Tocmo’s death caused a stir in the local community due to its brutal nature.

During their investigation, police named Gabutero as the prime suspect in Tocmo’s murder based on the evidences that they gathered.

Gabutero later on signed an extrajudicial confession where he admitted to killing Tocmo.

ALSO READ: Reah Mae Tocmo’s death was an accident: ‘Nagbasol ko’, says Simeon Gabutero Jr.

However, during the arraignment of his case on Tuesday, Gabutero entered a not guilty plea, according to Tocmo’s sister, Rochie Tocmo-Poblacion.

“So karon adlawa nibaliktad man ka nga dili ikaw ang nipatay sa akong manghod paningkamoti na ma prove nimo imong innocence ug naa ky matudlo kung kinsa jud nipatay ni REAH  kay kuyaw baya ka naka angkon sa tanan nka record pani imong mga interview dri!,” Poblacion said in a socia media post on the same day.

Airtight case 

In a press conference on Wednesday, Pelare said that it was normal for the accused to recant, especially after he spoke to a lawyer.

But he said that they have evidences to support the murder charge against Gabutero, which the prosecution will present during the trial of his case.

Aside from executing an extrajudicial confession, Gabutero also admitted to his crime in various media interviews.

“We are not at all worried by what happened during the arraignment of the suspect,” Pelare said. 


Reah Mae Tocmo update: Murder victim seen arguing with man a day before she was found dead

Gabutero also accused of robbery in Toledo, Cebu

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TAGS: Murder, Rhea Mae Tocmo, Simeon Gabutero Jr.

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