PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan, Philippines? (UPDATE 2) A retired Naval officer, his wife, daughter, and two other relatives were hacked to death inside their home Monday afternoon by still unidentified assailants.
Police have identified the victims as Lieutenant Commander (retired) Ernesto Paiton, 59; his wife Carmelita Paiton, 55, active duty Chief Petty Officer at the Naval Forces West; and relatives Erlita Paiton, 21, a nurse, Sharon Cabatuan, 19, and Renato Cabatuan, 17.
Police said the victims were murdered inside the Paiton residence at the Officers? Village right across the headquarters of the Naval Forces West (Navforwest) in the village of San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City some time Monday afternoon by still unidentified men.
The victims? bodies were found by two other relatives who were students at a local university at 6 p.m. when they returned from school; one of them the Paitons? son.
?We have ruled out robbery as a motive and we are looking at some leads to hopefully break the case open. It could be work-related,? Senior Superintendent Cesar Miranda, chief of the Puerto Princesa City Police, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Chief Inspector Janet Nieves, officer on case, said in a phone interview that investigators found the bodies hog tied, with masking tapes on their lips, and their throats slashed.
Nieves said that based on their investigation, the massacre was committed by someone known to the family.
?There was no sign of forced entry or struggle,? Nieves said.
?We even found money from the jeans pocket of Carmelita Paiton amounting to P9,000,? she added.
Scene of the crime investigators said that the perpetrators had tried to set the entire house on fire but failed.
Miranda said he has formed a joint investigation body with the Naval command to speed up the efforts to track down the killers.
Police were looking at the possibility that the killing was business related, as the couple was reportedly engaged in a wide-range of businesses, including loans.
In Manila, the Armed Forces of the Philippines was hoping for the speedy resolution of the murders.
?We hope that the authorities in Palawan, particularly the police investigating this, would be able to?as soon as possible?identify the perpetrators,? said AFP spokesman Brigadier General Jose Mabanta.
He said the military would not intervene in the police investigation. With Katherine Evangelista, INQUIRER.net