Named as respondents
of the case were Dr. Leo Lofranco and Mrs. Grace Lofranco, both owners
of the Lester Lace grocery store here and included in the charge sheet
is a certain Jericson Tagapan of Brgy. Maulong of this town, the
security guard on-duty during the time the store was burned which is
being alleged as the one who helped the Lofranco couple in disposing
of the victim’s body.
Mary Jean Paulin,
mother of “Janine” disclosed that the CIDG here thru P/Insp. Fernando
M. Ferrer, finally issued them a transmittal letter to the Provincial
Prosecutor’s Office to conduct a preliminary investigation on the
minor’s death which was discovered only on the following day of the
fire incident. The charges were filed on December 29, exactly 45 days
after Janine’s death.
recommendation was based on the agency’s own investigation of the
incident which was supplemented by the accounts of the witnesses and
the 2 autopsy reports conducted by at least two medico-legal doctors
from Catbalogan and the PNP Crime Laboratory.
CIDG chief P/Insp.
Ferrer’s told in his affidavit, that the underlying circumstances
pointing to the apparent presence of Janine inside the burning grocery
store whose access to the key resides solely to its owners and the
complementing results of the autopsy reports saying that the victim
died about 3 hours before the fire and the accounts of the witnesses
stipulating allegedly that Janine was with the owners of the store in
an apparent commotion few hours before the incident, are leading
conditions for anybody to suspect an obvious foul play over the girl’s
“We know how rich the
Lofranco’s are, but we will not stop our fight to seek justice for our
daughter, we believe in the integrity of our courts here and I know
that Janine is just out there looking at us but she’s crying for
justice”, Mary Jean Paulin stressed.
This writer gathered
that based on the autopsy report made by Dr. Felino C. Gualdrapa, a
Physician from the Samar Provincial Hospital here, the victim
accordingly did not die of the fire.
“I found out that the
cause of death was due to asphyxiation by suffocation or choking to
stop passage of air from the nose and mouth, if she died due to the
fire, her cause of death should have been carbon monoxide poisoning
which is impossible because the autopsy revealed no traces of carbon
in her lungs. The victim was already dead for not less than three
hours before she was burned”, Dr. Gualdrapa revealed in his affidavit.
These findings of Dr.
Gualdrapa was seconded by the PNP Crime Laboratory medico-legal Dr.
Angel Cordero, who conducted a separate autopsy on the charred body of
the fire victim stressing that the cause of death is cardio
respiratory arrest due to shock due to traumatic asphyxia and external
application of stimulus.
“Because of these
circumstances, we are 100 percent sure that our daughter was killed,
and the culprit should be put in jail”, Mary Jean stressed.
Earlier, during the
organization of the “Justice of Janine” movement, it wasn’t clear yet
as to who will be the respondents of the murder raps, especially when
the Lofrancos issued a radio statement denying their involvement in
the fire incident and more over their acquaintance with the fire
“But we likewise need
answers and we are just as interested as everyone else in unraveling
the real circumstances of the incident”, Dr. Lofranco told in his