Three men have been arrested for the gang-rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Paco, Manila.
Myla Rosales was found by police dumped behind a communal toilet with more than 20 stab wounds to her body.
Rosales was a first-grader at Bagong Barangay Elementary School in Paco.
Arrested were Norman de Leon, aged 25, his brother Joshua de Leon, 19, and Romulo Marquez, 35.
The three suspects were summoned to the local police station for questioning as neighbours said they saw them having a drinking session that lasted several days.
All three initially denied the charges or any knowledge of the crime. However, after a long interrogation, De Leon broke and admitted to killing the girl. He denied raping her.
He also admitted to being high on the drug ‘shabu’ and drinking gin for three days without sleeping. He said: “I could not remember if I raped her but I know I stabbed her several times.”
He also admitted that he attacked the girl sometime between 8 and 9pm in the second-floor room of his friend Tonette dela Rama’s home.
Rosales’s parents said they last saw their daughter at 7pm and began looking for her two hours later.
Mr dela Rama told police that he knew nothing about a crime being committed inside his rented room, but admitted that his room was in “total disarray” and claimed that he cleaned up the mess and took the garbage out without knowing what had happened.
Investigators found the room in its cleaned up state, but found visible bloodstains on a plastic chair and flooring. So far it is unknown if the blood is that of the young girl’s.
Police believe that De Leon admitted to murder to save his brother and friend. However, police intend to file charges against all three suspects.